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How we expect Arsenal to line up against Aston Villa

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lbert Sambi Lokonga could make his first start of the Premier League season when Arsenal host Aston Villa on Wednesday.

The Gunners are light on midfield options as Oleksandr Zinchenko and Thomas Partey are still struggling for fitness and they missed Saturday’s win over Fulham. Mohamed Elneny is also out with a hamstring injury.

Partey is struggling with a thigh issue and Zinchenko has a knee problem, with Arsenal assessing both players this week.

Partey’s injury is similar to the one that forced him to miss the last six weeks of last season, although hopefully not as severe.

Zinchenko, meanwhile, was at Emirates Stadium on Saturday wearing a knee brace but there is some optimism he could be in the squad on Wednesday.

Asked on the weekend if Partey or Zinchenko had a chance of playing against Aston Villa, Arteta said: “I don’t think so. We still have to make another scan, especially on Thomas but I don’t think they will be available.

“Let’s see [if it is long or short term]. I cannot see yet.”

Asked if Partey’s injury was similar to last season, Arteta added: “Similar area, hopefully not as bad.”

Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Odegaard, Lokonga, Xhaka; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli

Wednesday 7.30pm GMT, BT Sport

Venue: Emirates Stadium

Referee: Robert Jones

Arsenal squad from: Hein, Ramsdale, Turner; Bellerin, Cedric, Gabriel, Holding, Mari, Saliba, Tierney, Tomiyasu, White; Lokonga, Maitland-Niles, Odegaard, Saka, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Xhaka; Jesus, Martinelli, Marquinhos and Nketiah.

Injured: Elneny, (hamstring), Nelson (thigh), Partey (thigh)

Doubts: Zinchenko (knee)

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