Arsenal face West Ham at the Emirates in the Premier League tonight (8pm).
Arsenal can get their Premier League campaign off to a flying start with victory over West Ham tonight – but Mikel Arteta has a couple of decisions to make ahead of the clash at the Emirates.
A comfortable 3-0 win for the Gunners over newly-promoted Fulham last weekend was as good as Arteta could have hoped for. Willian registered three assists on his debut and £27million signing Gabriel Magalhaes scored and kept a clean sheet in his first taste of English football.
Mohamed Elneny was a surprise inclusion in the starting XI at Craven Cottage, almost 18 months since his last appearance in the Premier League.
The Egyptian spent last season on loan at Besiktas and his Arsenal career appeared to be over.
But the 28-year-old impressed alongside Granit Xhaka to give Arteta something to think about ahead of the visit of West Ham.
Dani Ceballos and Xhaka formed a successful partnership after lockdown last season but it remains to be seen if Elneny will be dropped to accommodate the Real Madrid loanee.
Ceballos would give a more creative edge to the Arsenal midfield than Elneny, which may be needed against a David Moyes side who would take a point right now.
Midfield is not the only area of the pitch where Arteta has a decision to make.
David Luiz has returned to full training following the neck injury that ruled him out of last weekend’s match.
Arteta rates the Brazilian highly, both on and off the pitch, and is likely to bring him back into the side if he is fully fit.
Arsenal have enjoyed success with a back three in recent months and Luiz, as he did with great joy under Antonio Conte at Chelsea, has been relied upon as the central figure of that defence.
Gabriel played in that role against Fulham, with Rob Holding to his right and Kieran Tierney to the left.
Luiz coming back into the side will leave Arteta with a dilemma of where to play Gabriel and Tierney.
Despite being the left centre-back last week, Tierney often pushed forward and allowed wing-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles to cut inside, which was showcased by their runs for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s stunning goal.
That is a tactic that has worked on a couple of occasions, including the Community Shield win over Liverpool last month.
Gabriel being left-footed means there are only two positions in the backline he could realistically take up, one of which may now be occupied by Luiz.
Tierney could take Maitland-Niles’ place, though the recently capped England international has excelled in recent appearances.
Arteta could also choose to play Luiz on the right of the three, though he has not done that to date.
So the Arsenal boss has a couple of key calls to make ahead of his side’s first home game of the campaign.