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Mikel Arteta explains Arsenal team as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returns at Brighton


Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replaces Alexandre Lacazette up front (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta said he wanted to ‘bring some continuity’ as he made just one change to the team that beat Chelsea, with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returning to the side at Brighton.

The Gunners put an end to a miserable run of results with an impressive 3-1 win at home to their London rivals at the weekend and they did so without Aubameyang, who has played no part in the club’s last three games due to a calf injury.

But Aubameyang was an unused substitute on Boxing Day and comes in for Alexandre Lacazette up front at the Amex Stadium, with with youngsters Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli continuing their run in Arteta’s starting XI.

The Gabon striker will be desperate to add to his disappointing tally this season of just three Premier League goals.

Asked whether Arsenal’s lack of changes was a reflection of their outstanding performance versus Chelsea, Arteta told Amazon Prime Video: ‘Yes it was.

‘I think we had a really good game, got the result that we wanted and I saw a lot of things that I really liked during the game so we wanted to bring some continuity.’

Arteta has kept faith with Smith Rowe (Picture: Getty)

‘I think it was the whole team,’ Arteta said when asked what the young players provided in Arsenal’s win over Chelsea.

‘Some individual players, some were young, there were senior players who had a good game and collectively we did what we had to do to beat a great opponent.

‘With the young ones, they did what we expected.

‘It’s what they’ve been doing when we’ve given them games in the cups and they did it in the Premier League so it’s no difference.’

Martinelli has impressed since returning from injury (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal are hovering just six points above the relegation zone in 15th place and Arteta hopes his side are able to build on their victory over Chelsea and after a ‘really inconsistent’ run of results.

‘Now we need a run of games,’ the Spaniard said.

‘We’ve been really inconsistent with results in the Premier League and we need to put that right.

‘The best way to do that is by winning football matches in a row.’

On what he expects from Brighton, Arteta replied: ‘A really difficult game, I think they’ve been really unlucky with a lot of results they had recently.

‘I think the performances show much better than the table does and I really like Graham [Potter].

‘He’s a really great manager and I really like the job he’s doing here.’

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