The international break has potentially felt longer for Arsenal fans than it has for most following their most recent result.
Mikel Arteta has a real point to prove in the wake of the Gunners’ defeat to Aston Villa. The result has surely seen the Spaniard come in for more criticism than at any other stage in his brief managerial career.
And while they are set to come up against a side that has lost their last two games 4-1, Arsenal will be wary of taking Leeds United lightly on Sunday. Marcelo Bielsa’s men, of course, beat Villa 3-0 this season.
The preparations for the Gunners have not been ideal. As reported by BBC Sport, Mohamed Elneny is having to self-isolate and will miss the game.
Arteta does not appear to be short of options to potentially replace Elneny. Some supporters have implored the Arsenal boss to hand Joe Willock his first Premier League appearance of the season.
Meanwhile, Dani Ceballos is also a name that will surely be considered. But perhaps, the most likely candidate to come in alongside Thomas Partey will be Granit Xhaka.
Arteta may not make a raft of changes following the defeat to Villa. But there may also be one swap further up the pitch involving Willian.
The Brazilian – who earns £220,000-a-week, according to the Daily Mail – has been poor in recent times. It would be a big statement therefore, if Arteta kept faith with the attacking midfielder.
But it could be argued that Nicolas Pepe deserves a chance. It is more than a month since the 25-year-old started a league game. And he has since scored twice in the Europa League.
With that in mind, here is a look at an early predicted lineup for the Gunners’ trip to Elland Road…
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