Team news: Bellerin hopeful of Brighton return

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Hector Bellerin’s tight hamstring means he’ll be assessed by medical staff ahead of Thursday night’s Premier League clash with Brighton, but it’s understood he’s optimistic about making it in time for Freddie Ljungberg’s first home game in charge.

Following the 2-2 draw with Norwich on Sunday, Arsenal are badly in need of a confidence boosting win when they host the Seagulls, looking to do better than in the same fixture last season.

A 1-1 draw was perhaps the most disappointing result of that dreadful end of season run, and had we won it we’d have been playing Champions League football and things would probably have felt and turned out a bit differently.

Dani Ceballos is the only other injury absentee, as he struggles with a serious hamstring strain which leaves him still a few weeks from full fitness and a return to action.

Freddie will have to take some of the lessons from the Norwich game, and hopefully we can use home advantage to take three points.

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PGunner

I thought that our 1-1 draw away to Brighton on Boxing Day was a shocker of a game and after that my faith in the new management started dwindling rapidly. Let’s hope for a vibrant atmosphere on Thursday and some decent football to try start getting us back up the table. COYG

A Gorilla

The atmosphere will be good this Thursday, especially if Bellerin is fit. This guy just energises the team and the fans.

Richie

We shouldn’t really need to risk anyone with a tight hamstring especially at home against Brighton, but I guess these are desperate times. I might even be inclined to try Maitland-Niles at right back again instead of Chambers who hasn’t offered much going forward in the last few games.

A Different George

I thought Chambers was surprisingly effective in attack against Norwich. But he was just hopeless getting back when he or a teammate lost the ball–not just a lack of pace, but a lack of awareness. I’ve often seen criticism of the failure of players like Ozil to track back, which is usually–not always–wrong unless you are Stoke or West Brom. But the fullbacks really are the players who must do this relentlessly in the modern game. Bellerin’s return is very important.

Pakgooner

Medically it’d be better for him to rest for Brighton too, but he would really be dangerous in some of that attacking football we played in 1st halb vs Norwich

Wolsty

The only lesson Freddie has to learn for Thursday is not to start Mustafi, ever…. simples….

Even if he plays Chambers or Holding at Centre Half with Luiz and AMN at right back, if Hector is not 100%, that would work.

Ya gooner

Mustafi wasn’t even our worst player, I’m not a fan of his either but give it a rest. Defending is a team effort and our team is disjointed up and down the pitch atm.

Frank

I’m sorry, I know it’s now suddenly become the popular thing on here to defend him now, but Mustafi was bad. Yes he wasn’t solely at fault and yes Luiz was probably worse but Mustafi was not good, he got turned inside out multiple times, failed to close players down and looked generally panicked every time he was forced to do some proper defending. Yes, getting rid of him doesn’t suddenly make us a better team but he is definitely not of the quality we need if our defence is to be taken seriously

Leon

The confidence of the team starts at the back.
We have William Saliba coming in the summer and is highly rated. Another couple of quality centre backs in the summer and our defence would look much stronger.
Sokratis – Mustafi – Luiz – Xhaka are the cause of many of our problems…

A Different George

And Xhaka was certainly not our worst player either–much better than Willock (who I rate very highly in the long run), Chambers, Lacazette, or Guendouzi.

Leon

I don’t think anyone expected much against Norwich – in fairness to Freddie he really only had one day to prepare. I don’t see him as being a candidate for the post though – this is not a situation for an inexperienced manager to take over. Had we been in some kind of form like, for example Chelsea before their appointment of Lampard then yes but Arsenal are a shambles throughout. I would like to see Rogers in post – he seems to be able to motivate his players and have a strong tactical knoweldge – although I believe there… Read more »

dialsquare1886

Just curious, why has nobody suggested Sol Campbell as our next manager?

Alan Sunderland's Mighty Perm of Justice

Just had a Liverpool fan tell me that Arsenal deserve to get relegated because of the behaviour of their awful fans. I bit back and said that Liverpool fans can never lecture fans of any team about their supposed behaviour after Heysel. They still haven’t paid us (and others) for missing out on the European Cup in the 89/90 season. Rant over. Back to the arse. I like Bellerin but his constant injuries are a real concern. He’s not looked right since he came back (understandable) and has got injured again. I wish him well if he really does return… Read more »