August 12, 2022

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Ben White has been a key player at the heart of Arsenal’s defence this season...
Ben White has been a key player at the heart of Arsenal's defence this season
Ben White has been a key player at the heart of Arsenal’s defence this season (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has been forced to shuffle his pack ahead of Arsenal’s must-win Premier League game against West Ham.

Tottenham’s win over Leicester City earlier on Sunday piled the pressure on the Gunners prior to kick-off as the race for fourth place took another twist.

The Arsenal manager made three changes to the line-up which beat Manchester United last weekend with injury preventing Ben White from keeping his place at the heart of his side’s defence.

The £50million summer signing from Brighton has been an increasingly steady presence in recent weeks, but he was ruled out of a key London derby with a tight hamstring.

Rob Holding was selected as White’s replacement while there was more positive news in the form of a start for Takehiro Tomiyasu’s, his first in the Premier League since January.

The Japan international missed three months after injuring a calf in January but made his comeback as a late substitute against United last weekend.

Cedric Soares dropped to the bench, as did Emile Smith Rowe who missed out at the expense of Gabriel Martinelli.

West Ham were expected to rest a number of senior players given their midweek Europa League semi-final second leg is on the horizon.

The Hammers were beaten 2-1 at home in midweek but, in search of a morale boost, David Moyes named a strong starting XI which included the likes of Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Kurt Zouma.

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