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Arsenal travel to Elland Road in the Premier League for the first time since 2003 on Sunday to face a Leeds side who have had a mixed start to their first season back in the top flight. 

The hosts sit 15th in the table with 10 points from their opening eight games, and come into this match off the back of two 4-1 defeats to Leicester and Crystal Palace respectively. 

The Gunners, who are currently placed 11th in the table, have also experienced an up and down start to the campaign. They’ve won four and lost four of their first eight assignments, with their latest result being a humiliating 0-3 defeat to Aston Villa. 

Mikel Arteta will be hoping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is at his best on Sunday, after the striker bizarrely had to sleep on an airport floor with his Gabon teammates in Gambia earlier in the week, waiting to be let in ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. Arteta admitted in his pre-match press conference that it was a “shock” to see Aubameyang have to sleep in those conditions. 

Marcelo Bielsa was highly complimentary of Arsenal in his pre-match press conference on Friday, claiming they’re “one of the best teams in the league” and that they “show things [tactically] that I have never seen in any other team.”

Leeds have been boosted by the return of Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo, who are both in contention to make Leeds’ squad on Sunday. However, summer signing Diego Llorente remains sidelined with a groin injury and Pablo Hernandez is out with a muscle injury that he sustained earlier in the week. Adam Forshaw, Gaetano Berardi and Jamie Shackleton are also out. 

Arsenal’s Thomas Partey has been unable to shake off a thigh injury in time for Sunday’s game, while the visitors will also be without Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac who both returned positive COVID-19 tests during the international break. Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli remain out.

Score Prediction: Leeds 1-1 Arsenal 

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May 2024