Emile Smith Rowe believes Arsenal are looking well prepared ahead of the new Premier League season, and has been impressed by new addition Gabriel Jesus.

The Gunners narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification last term after losing crucial games to Tottenham and Newcastle United, and they responded by investing heavily in the squad during the transfer window.

Their marquee signing so far has been Jesus, who arrived for a reported £45million from Manchester City.

The Brazil striker left Pep Guardiola's team for Arsenal after starting just 28 games in all competitions last season, scoring 13 goals.

Only Riyad Mahrez (24), Kevin De Bruyne (19), Raheem Sterling (17) and Phil Foden (14) outscored Jesus for City last term, as Guardiola's men successfully defended their title by a single point ahead of Liverpool.

Jesus has already been finding the net on a regular basis for his new club during pre-season, including scoring a hat-trick in Saturday's 6-0 friendly win against Sevilla at Emirates Stadium.

Speaking to Five, Smith Rowe was positive about how he and his team-mates are preparing for the new season, and reserved particular praise for the early impression made by Jesus.

"The players that have come back [from last season], I already know how good they are, so it's not a surprise to see how good they are and how well they are doing," he said.

"But from the new players, I think Gabriel Jesus [has been the most impressive]. I didn't actually realise how sharp he was.

"Obviously, playing against him, it's different. You see him, watching Man City before [he signed]. But when you actually see him in training...

"I've been telling my friends, they're always asking, and I'm like 'he's ridiculous'. Everyone in the team is really excited for the new season, and the fans should be as well, I think."

Arsenal get their campaign under way with a trip to Crystal Palace on Friday.

Gabriel Jesus can help Arsenal discover a "winning mentality" after joining from Premier League champions Manchester City, according to his new Gunners team-mate Emile Smith Rowe.

Brazil striker Jesus left Pep Guardiola's team for Arsenal in a deal worth around £45million after starting just 28 games in all competitions last season, scoring 13 goals.

Only Riyad Mahrez (24), Kevin De Bruyne (19), Raheem Sterling (17) and Phil Foden (14) outscored Jesus for City last term despite his limited playing time, as Guardiola's men successfully defended their title by a single point ahead of Liverpool.

Meanwhile, only Lionel Messi (291), Sterling (186), De Bruyne (175) and Sergio Aguero (151) can better Jesus' tally of 136 goal contributions under Guardiola's management, with the forward winning 10 pieces of silverware in his time with City.

Despite Jesus only turning 25 in April, Smith Rowe believes his experience of featuring for an elite side will benefit the Gunners.

"He's been fantastic since he came in, it feels like he's been here for a couple of years," he told the Evening Standard. 

"Everyone knows how good he is, and we can't wait to get started with him. Man City are a big club and they've won a lot recently. 

"It would be good if he could bring that [winning] mentality and help us out."

Jesus netted in Arsenal's friendly win over Everton last time out, taking him to three goals in two pre-season appearances for his new side.

But the 25-year-old is not the only signing made by Mikel Arteta during the transfer window, with Porto's 22-year-old midfielder Fabio Vieira joining for an initial fee of £30million (€35m).

And Smith Rowe was keen to emphasise Vieira's similarity to another Portuguese midfielder, namely City's Bernardo Silva, as he hailed his creative talents.

"He's very similar [to Silva]," Smith Rowe said of Vieira. "He's a very good passer of the ball, his left foot is very good, and he likes to create goals and score them himself.

"I've already played against him at international level, so I can't speak highly enough of him, and the fans should be really excited. At the Euro Under-21s, they [Portugal] beat us 2-0 and he was unbelievable in that game."

Arsenal will feature in the Europa League after a late-season collapse saw rivals Tottenham beat them to a top-four Premier League finish last time out, and Smith Rowe says the Gunners are desperate to atone for that disappointment in the 2022-23 campaign.

"It's definitely tough looking back on it, it was in our hands. The Spurs game [a 3-0 defeat in May]… it was tough. It wasn't a nice atmosphere. All the boys were down," he recalled.

"The manager picked us up and we had another chance after that, but it didn't go our way in the end. 

"Going forward, we have just got to stick together as a team. We are a young team, we are still getting there. It's fuel for us going forward and we can't wait to start the season.

"It will be a good season, a tough season. The big clubs are buying players and every season is hard, but we are confident. 

"It's been a long time since we've been in the Champions League. We need to get back in it, not just for us but for the fans as well."

Son Heung-min can count himself unlucky after the Tottenham star missed out on a nomination for the PFA Player of the Year.

Spurs forward Son scored 23 Premier League goals in the 2021-22 season, sharing the competition's Golden Boot award with Mohamed Salah.

The Liverpool talisman is included on the list of six nominees, alongside team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane.

Son's strike partner Harry Kane does make the cut, while Kevin de Bruyne is the sole representative of champions Manchester City.

His team-mates Bernardo Silva and Rodri may also consider themselves hard done by, having both enjoyed wonderful campaigns.

Cristiano Ronaldo could not take Manchester United into the Champions League on his return to the club, but his 18 league goals have seen him receive a nomination.

The PFA also confirmed the list of nominees for the Young Player of the Year award, with City attacker Phil Foden joined by Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka and his club-mate Emile Smith Rowe.

That trio will go up against Chelsea pair Conor Gallagher, who shined on loan at Crystal Palace this season, and Reece James, as well as Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey, for the award.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hailed the mentality of Bukayo Saka to bounce back from Euro 2020 final penalty shoot-out heartbreak, while he implored the Gunners to capitalise in the top-four race.

Saka missed the decisive spot-kick for England against Italy in early July, leading to a wave of online racial abuse towards him and international colleagues Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.

Arteta previously suggested the penalty failure would aid Saka's development and resilience, and the 20-year-old has supported his manager's comments with his best Premier League season to date.

Saka has scored 11 times in the league and assisted five more as Arsenal battle with Tottenham for the final Champions League qualification spot, while he has made amends from the penalty spot in recent weeks.

Indeed, he became the youngest player ever to score a penalty in consecutive Premier League appearances following spot-kicks against Chelsea and Manchester United in the last two games.

Arteta confirmed Saka will again be on penalty duties should the chance arise at West Ham on Sunday as the Spaniard heaped praise on the England international.

"Well, if someone has to take a penalty, he will take it," Arteta told reporters at a pre-match news conference on Friday.

"Again, but it happened quite naturally in the Chelsea game, he took it and the next game we had another one and hopefully he can continue to put the ball in the back of the net.

"The first two conversations that I had [with him] it was straight after the incident [at Euro 2020], but Gareth Southgate was really helpful as well because he had Bukayo in his hands at that moment and they were really caring and really supportive of him, so by the time he joined us, he was in a really good place.

"Obviously, he got all this support and love and help in any way that he needed it to overcome that situation and then it's down to him and his family around him that were very helpful for him."

Arsenal have been inspired by their younger players this season, with Emile Smith Rowe just the second Gunner to score 10 or more Premier League goals in a season, after Nicolas Anelka in 1998-99 (17).

Fellow youngster Eddie Nketiah also netted twice to guide Arsenal past Chelsea earlier in the month, and Arteta believes club experience helps his youthful squad when they go on international duty.

"I think they're doing it at their clubs and that's really, really important so again, the step of demands is not that high, they are already key and important players in their own clubs," he added.

"So they're used to that pressure and at international level it's something very different, but I think they have the maturity and they have the capacity to sustain that level under pressure because they're doing it every week at their clubs."

Arteta will be hoping his young Gunners can deliver again when Arsenal visit fellow top-four chasers West Ham on Sunday, looking to improve on their two-point lead over fifth-placed Tottenham.

However, the Arsenal manager warned to expect more changes heading into the final weeks of the season as teams battle for European football next campaign.

Asked whether the fight for fourth place was a two-horse race, he responded: "I don't think so, there will still be some twists and turns, we all have difficult matches to play.

"We all know how difficult it is to win games in the Premier League and now we had two really good results that put us in a really good position. But it is about doing it again at West Ham.

"I think in the league when you are able to win consecutively away and at home, it gives you a huge platform and things quickly change.

"We have some momentum now and we want to make the most out of it."

Mikel Arteta expressed his delight for Eddie Nketiah after the striker's first Premier League double saw Arsenal respond to a poor run of form with victory at Chelsea on Wednesday.

A frantic first half at Stamford Bridge saw Arsenal twice pegged back by Chelsea, after Timo Werner cancelled out Eddie Nketiah's opener, and Cesar Azpilicueta restored parity following Emile Smith Rowe's goal.

Nketiah delivered again after the interval before Bukayo Saka's penalty sealed a 4-2 victory as Arsenal moved level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham in the battle for Champions League qualification.

In Nketiah, Smith Rowe and Saka, Arsenal also saw three English players score in the same Premier League match versus Chelsea for the first time since September 1996.

Arteta reserved much of his praise for Nketiah, who proved his worth to the Gunners by scoring his first top-flight goals in over a year – since an injury-time equaliser versus Fulham in April 2021.

"What I've been saying all the time about Eddie, when you look at him in training and how humble he is all the time, good things happen," Arteta said of the forward.

"Good things happen to good people. He has proven that all season and he hasn't given any signs of anything different. If I'm happy for anyone it's him, because I know what he's been through. 

"The same with Mohamed Elneny and Rob Holding."

Manager Arteta also hailed the adaptability of his side, who ended a three-game losing streak with the success over Thomas Tuchel's European champions.

"The way they started the game was tactically really demanding, they kept changing their shape and we had to adapt," the Spaniard told Sky Sports.

"We managed to grab a little bit of the game, we looked dangerous on the counter-attack, we scored four goals and conceded twice.

"After two difficult weeks it's a great day. What I love is the spirit of these players. When you lose matches you get punished and criticised but with these players I don't care because they're growing.

"For us to win a London derby away the way we did it I'm really happy as well."

Arteta then added to reporters: “I said to them if you want to play Champions League football you have to come to places like this and win.”

Arsenal will be hoping to carry the impetus from the win over Chelsea when they on Saturday host fellow top-four chasers Manchester United, who have played a game more and are three points behind the Gunners.

Eddie Nketiah scored his first Premier League double as Arsenal got their top-four hopes back on track with an entertaining 4-2 victory over Chelsea. 

Mikel Arteta's faith in Nketiah was rewarded as the 22-year-old ended a wait for a league goal that stretched back to April 2021 with the opener at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. 

Timo Werner scored in consecutive Premier League games for just the second time in his Chelsea career to restore parity, before Emile Smith Rowe put Arsenal back in front. 

Cesar Azpilicueta got another equaliser for Chelsea, but he was at fault for Nketiah's second and a stoppage-time penalty from Bukayo Saka as Arsenal ended run of three straight defeats and went level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham. 

Andreas Christensen's bungled back pass was pounced upon by Nketiah and the attacker slotted a cool finish past Edouard Mendy to give Arsenal the lead in the 13th minute. 

Chelsea hit back four minutes later when Ruben Loftus-Cheek won possession high up the pitch and Werner unleashed a shot that deflected in off Granit Xhaka. 

Arsenal narrowly avoided gifting Chelsea a chance to take the lead and transitioned into a rapid counter-attack that finished with Smith Rowe placing a curling shot into the bottom-right corner. 

The Blues drew level before the break, though, with Mason Mount's excellent delivery steered home by Azpilicueta. 

Christensen made way for Thiago Silva at half-time, but Arsenal were back in front 13 minutes after the restart. Azpilicueta gave the ball away and Nketiah made the most of a couple of fortunate ricochets to double his tally. 

Azpilicueta then hauled Saka to ground in the box and the England winger fired the spot-kick home in the 92nd minute as Chelsea succumbed to a defeat that left them in danger of being dragged into an unexpected top-four battle.
 

What does it mean? Shoddy defending costs Chelsea 

Chelsea have lost three straight home games in all competitions for the first time in almost 30 years, and some sloppy errors brought on their latest defeat. 

They gifted Nketiah a pair of goals and were caught short when their high press was beaten ahead of Smith Rowe's strike. 

The Gunners were by no means in good form at the back, but some crucial blocks from Gabriel helped them secure a huge three points. 

Sublime Saka 

Marcos Alonso struggled to cope with Saka's dribbling ability as he proved extremely dangerous when Arsenal counter-attacked. He capped an all-action display with a deserved goal at the death.

Lacklustre Lukaku 

Thomas Tuchel handed Romelu Lukaku his first start in over a month, but the Belgian failed to impress. His 22 touches were the fewest of any Chelsea starter and he missed the target with his only attempt on goal. 

What's next? 

Arsenal entertain Manchester United in a game that could be key to their top-four hopes on Saturday, while Chelsea have another London derby against West Ham the following day. 

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal will welcome Jack Wilshere back with open arms in future after the Gunners academy product joined Danish side AGF.

The 30-year-old signed for the Aarhus-based team on a short-term deal initially, but an option to extend that contract by one year exists, with Wilshere desperate to prove himself after falling off the footballing map.

Arsenal favourite Wilshere, who began his career with the Gunners and helped the club win the FA Cup twice, has been without a team since leaving Bournemouth at the end of last season.

He was a teenage wonder with Arsenal, making his debut as a 16-year-old in 2008, but injuries have blighted his career in recent years. Prior to making the move to Denmark, Wilshere had been training with Arsenal in an effort to build up his fitness.

Following completion of the deal, Arteta was asked about the prospect of Wilshere potentially returning in a coaching capacity, and the manager was unequivocal in his response.

"One hundred per cent," Arteta told reporters. "I think everyone at the club would be willing to open the doors for him and try to find a role for him that would work for everybody. I think that will happen naturally in the future.

"It's been great to have him, and I think I'm speaking on behalf of everybody and the club, it's been absolutely a pleasure to have Jack back.

"To enjoy watching him play next to us, to have him around, the inspiration that he is for all the young people. Hopefully, we can help him – we have helped him a little bit as well – because he had some doubts with what to do, whether to start coaching or continue playing.

"I think this group of players have given him again that necessity to experience on a daily basis how magnificent it is to feel like a football player, and I think he wants to experience that again. We wish him the best of luck."

Emile Smith Rowe was among the Arsenal players to wish Wilshere luck for his new adventure on Instagram this week, with the attacking midfielder following a similar route to his compatriot.

Smith Rowe also came through the club's academy and appears set for a big future at Emirates Stadium and with England.

He scored Arsenal's first in the 2-1 weekend win over Brentford, taking his Premier League tally to nine goals from just 15 starts. Arteta does not think this is a fluke, though he did not want to put Smith Rowe's rise down to any one aspect.

"I think it's a combination of everything," Arteta said when asked if England recognition had been a factor in Smith Rowe's form.

"It's in his nature. Obviously, he needs to feel that confidence around the coaching staff, that we are the right people to guide him and take him to the next level.

"He needs his team-mates because they are big contributors to what he can do on the pitch. He needs to feel loved, have the right environment around him – his family, girlfriend, whatever is next to him – and when that happens he's got a good chance.

"The numbers should be looking something like this and it's not a coincidence. He's practising every day, he's working, he's open. He has willingness to do it because he knows he has the qualities and capacity to do it and that's what we have to demand from players whether they are 19, 20, or 35."

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta heaped praise on young England stars Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka after they fired the Gunners to a 2-1 win over Brentford.

Smith Rowe and Saka struck in the second half to down a resolute Bees team, with Smith Rowe taking his tally to nine Premier League goals this season, a tally bettered only by Raheem Sterling (10) among English players in the competition this term.

Saka, meanwhile, has now registered 11 Premier League goal involvements this campaign (seven goals and four assists), the most of any player under the age of 21 and a tally only bettered by Jarrod Bowen (16), Mason Mount (13), and Trent Alexander-Arnold (12) among English players.

Christian Norgaard grabbed a late consolation for Brentford.

Speaking in the aftermath, Arteta lauded his match-winning youngsters, and saluted a "convincing" Gunners performance.

"They are players that have been raised in our system, and I'm really pleased that we have these players to come and take responsibility," Arteta said.

"They managed to win the game for us, which is really impressive at that age. I think we played really well [before the first goal], and we created some great chances in the first half without scoring the goal.

"But in the second half we were really convincing, scored the goal, and then it was a matter of scoring the second to kill the game. It’s a shame that we conceded a goal, but overall, I think we should be happy with the result and the performance."

Mikel Arteta was unable to provide excuses on Sunday, after Arsenal crashed out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest.

"We are out of the competition and we have to apologise."

Arsenal have won the FA Cup a record 14 times, with their last triumph coming in Arteta's first half-season in charge. But while they will lament being on the end of a giant-killing, they have the chance to bounce back from only their second third-round exit in the past 26 seasons when they face Liverpool at Anfield on Thursday in the first leg of a semi-final in England's other major domestic cup competition.

Initially, the Anfield fixture of this EFL Cup tie was due to be played second but Liverpool's coronavirus crisis, which Jurgen Klopp revealed was ultimately down to several false-positives within the squad, led to the postponement of the first leg at Emirates Stadium, originally set to be played on January 6.

The Gunners lost 4-0 at the home of the Reds in November's Premier League meeting, as Arteta's men were dealt a harsh dose of reality after a 10-match unbeaten run across all competitions.

A further 10 games have passed since then, with Arsenal losing four and winning six.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang having been stripped of the captaincy and ostracised before travelling away for the Africa Cup of Nations, Arteta has once again turned mostly to youth as he looks to continue to grow a new "culture" at Arsenal, who sit fourth in the league.

Claiming some measure of revenge at Anfield could just prove Arteta's plan is the solution for long-term success, and four players seem crucial to that blueprint.

Super-sub Smith Rowe

Aubameyang's omission for a breach of club rules brought unnecessary noise in December, though results were not immediately impacted. With the 32-year-old not playing since December 6, Alexandre Lacazette has stepped in to spearhead Arsenal's attack, but behind him Arteta has an abundance of talent to choose from.

Emile Smith Rowe started the season brilliantly, though has only started one league game since November. That has not stopped the 21-year-old from being effective, however, with three of his eight league goals this season coming from the bench in recent wins over West Ham, Leeds United and Norwich City.

Smith Rowe has only played 63 league minutes since featuring for 70 in the December 2 loss to Manchester United, meaning he averages a goal every 21 minutes in that period. 

Asked about Smith Rowe's game time before the defeat to Forest, which the midfielder missed altogether, Arteta explained he had been carrying an injury, one which also means he is a doubt for Thursday's clash.

"The only reason that changed the dynamic was that [injury], and obviously now there are others who are doing well and have been performing well. That changed the situation, but I am very happy with him," Arteta told reporters, before adding that competition for places can only be positive.

"This is why we need that, we raise the level. Each player raises the level of the player next to him, and this is how you evolve as a team, how you create a culture around the team."

Few could say Smith Rowe isn't embracing that "culture", with his recent hot streak off the bench reflecting a commendable attitude.

 

Martin the maestro

One of the "others" Arteta was referring to will surely be Martin Odegaard, who signed permanently from Real Madrid following a bright loan spell last season. Given the Norway international burst onto the scene at the age of 15 in 2014, becoming the youngest footballer ever to play in his homeland's top tier, it would be easy to forget he has only just turned 23.

Only Bukayo Saka (38) has created more chances than Odegaard (34) in Arsenal's squad in all competitions this season, with the midfielder topping that metric per 90 minutes when it comes to players to have featured over two times, producing 2.1 opportunities on average.

His eight direct goal contributions ranks him fifth in the squad while his shot conversion rate of 18.2 is good for a midfielder. Indeed, only the outstanding Smith Rowe, who has converted 32.1 per cent (nine goals) of his 28 attempts can boast better among Arsenal's midfield contingent.

Yet with Smith Rowe's recent spell as an impact player, Odegaard has started behind the striker in Arsenal's 4-2-3-1, his eye for a pass and knack of finding space on the edge of the area a key facet to some slick attacking play.

That playmaking ability was on show in the 5-0 thrashing of Norwich on Boxing Day, with Odegaard providing the assists for Arsenal's opening two goals and a key role in their final strike.

While Odegaard (33) has had fewer touches in the opposition box than left-back Nuno Tavares (35) and completed just 10 dribbles compared to Smith Rowe's 23 and the team-leading Saka's 27, no Arsenal player has attempted more passes in the opposition half than Odegaard (523), with 80.9 per cent (423) proving successful.

Odegaard's ability to keep Arsenal in possession with neat and incisive passing has been crucial for the Gunners. Indeed, only centre-backs Ben White (933) and Gabriel Magalhaes (822) have found a team-mate on more occasions than the playmaker (703).

 

Wing wizards

Flanking Odegaard (or Smith Rowe), Saka and Gabriel Martinelli both head to Anfield in superb form. While Saka scored the opener in the 2-1 defeat to City on New Year's Day, Martinelli has directly contributed to six goals from 18 appearances.

Martinelli's devastating turn of pace was on show in a 4-1 rout of Leeds United last month, though the Brazilian flyer missed a golden chance to put Arsenal back in front in their defeat to City, slicing wide of an open goal – if we're being generous, perhaps he was put off by the referee. Still, he should have scored.

Nevertheless, his four goals have come from an xG value of 4.2, putting him just about on par based on the quality of chances he has been provided with, though that is in contrast to Saka.

The England winger's tally of seven goals is second only to Smith Rowe (nine), yet they have come from 4.6 xG, suggesting the 20-year-old is finishing chances the average player wouldn't ordinarily be expected to convert.

For example, his swept effort low into the corner against City was only the seventh-best chance of the game, while a wonderful solo strike at Norwich (his second goal of the game) registered an xG of just 0.03 – essentially, this translates to a three per cent likelihood of scoring.

 

Saka also leads the way for big chances created (defined by Opta as an opportunity from which a player would reasonably be expected to score) with eight, three more than any of his club-mates, and only Nicolas Pepe has provided more assists (five to four).

Not only is Saka already a proven creator of opportunities, but he is now putting them away with unerring accuracy.

Arsenal were dealt a harsh lesson on their last visit to Anfield, but with a second leg at home to look forward to and with Liverpool missing key duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Thursday could see Arteta's counter-attacking youngsters thrive, with a north London derby against Tottenham up after that.

Even if it again proves a step too far, there's no doubt the future is bright.

Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe struck in the second half to earn Arsenal a 2-0 win over West Ham at the Emirates Stadium to move the Gunners into the Premier League's top four.

Following a keenly contested first half in which Kieran Tierney struck the bar, Martinelli raced into the box in the 48th minute to slot a classy finish into the bottom corner.

The Gunners continued to assert their dominance in the second half as Alexandre Lacazette won a penalty, with Vladimir Coufal receiving a second yellow and a red for the challenge, but the France international's spot-kick was saved by former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

However, substitute Smith Rowe lashed home late on to secure an important result that sees Arsenal leapfrog the Hammers into fourth place, one point clear of their London rivals after 17 games.

The Gunners went close before the interval, Tierney racing onto a loose ball and blasting towards the top-left corner, only for Fabianski to get the slightest of touches to turn it onto the crossbar.

Martinelli scored the decisive goal shortly after the restart, latching onto Lacazette's sublime throughball to curl firmly into the bottom-right corner.

Lacazette was involved again in the 66th minute as Coufal slid in to win the ball from him in the box, fouling the striker and being sent off for a second bookable offence, but the Arsenal forward's penalty was kept out in the bottom-right corner by Fabianski.

With only 10 men, West Ham were caught out as they pushed for an equaliser, with Smith Rowe coming off the bench to drive towards the edge of the box and steer a left-footed drive into the bottom-right corner to seal an important win.

Having only just finished an exciting batch of midweek games, the Premier League returns with the potential for more drama, goals, and perhaps some fantasy points to boot.

Everton boss Rafael Benitez will be hoping to arrest his team's downturn in form when Arsenal come to Merseyside, but despite defeat at Manchester United on Thursday, the Gunners have a couple of form players to keep an eye on.

Antonio Conte will be looking to continue a promising start at Tottenham as they host Norwich City, and it will be no surprise to anyone if one of his wing-backs ends up having a decisive impact again.

Another electric wing-back has returned for Brighton and Hove Albion in recent weeks; Manchester City boast one of the form players in Europe; and the bottom, two teams look to their star strikers for much-needed points.

Plenty of fantasy teams are just as desperate for points, so here are Stats Perform's suggestions for possible picks ahead of the weekend, powered by Opta data.

AARON RAMSDALE (Everton v Arsenal)

Aaron Ramsdale has been rather busy since his arrival from Sheffield United, and he faced another ten shots on target from United on Thursday.

However, he has broadly impressed in Mikel Arteta's side, and ranks third in the Premier League this season for goals prevented (2.57).

He is also set to face an Everton side fresh off a chastening Merseyside derby defeat, and who have scored only four times over their past six league games, the joint-fewest of any side in the division with Wolves.

 

SERGIO REGUILON (Tottenham v Norwich City)

Conte's new Tottenham side are unbeaten in their opening three league games, the Italian head coach utilising a three-man defence again after successes with Chelsea and Inter.

Sergio Reguilon has been the main beneficiary of the change in system, with the left wing-back directly involved in a Spurs goal in each of his last two league games, scoring against Leeds United before assisting against Brentford last time out.

The Spaniard next faces strugglers Norwich, who have scored the fewest goals of any side in the Premier League this season (eight), while conceding the second-most (28).

 

TARIQ LAMPTEY (Southampton v Brighton and Hove Albion)

Tariq Lamptey played an integral part in Brighton snatching a late equaliser against West Ham as he crossed in for Neal Maupay's acrobatic brilliance in the closing minutes.

The Englishman was brought on with 20 minutes to go and, as an impact sub, did exactly what he was asked to ensure Graham Potter's men did not return south empty-handed.

The right wing-back ranks fourth for chances created per 90 minutes among defenders in the English top flight this season, creating 2.4 opportunities on average as he prepares to face Southampton.

BERNARDO SILVA (Watford v Manchester City)

Pep Guardiola hailed Bernardo Silva as the best player in the league after the Portugal international nailed an expert first-time volley in the 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

The 27-year-old, who reportedly wanted a move away in the previous transfer window, has scored four goals in his last seven league games for City, as many as he had in his previous 55 in the competition.

With the reigning champions perhaps a striker short still, Silva will continue being of central importance for City's attacking returns as they travel to Watford.

 

EMILE SMITH ROWE (Everton v Arsenal)

Emile Smith Rowe may have converted in bizarre circumstances at Old Trafford, but as many fantasy players will tell you: they all count!

The England international has had a hand in eight goals in his previous 11 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal (six goals, two assists), with only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bettering that total this season (nine).

He heads to Benitez's Everton, who have conceded more goals than any other team in the league over their last six games (15).

 

TEEMU PUKKI (Tottenham v Norwich City)

There is one man for the job of keeping Dean Smith's Norwich away from the Championship and that is Teemu Pukki, a budget fantasy favourite for the Canaries.

The Finland goal poacher has managed three goals in his last four top-flight outings, as many as he had in his previous 24 appearances.

Indeed, if Norwich can breach Tottenham's resurgent defence, it is likely to be Pukki, who has scored five of his side's eight goals this term.

 

CALLUM WILSON (Newcastle United v Burnley)

In similar fashion to Pukki, Newcastle United's attacking hopes largely rest on the shoulders of Callum Wilson, who converted from the penalty spot in his last game against Norwich.

Another cheaper option compared to the likes of Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo, the former Bournemouth man has scored 17 Premier League goals for the Magpies.

That is more than twice as many as any other player for Newcastle since he joined the club at the start of last season, and Eddie Howe will be hoping his main man can deliver once more.

Emile Smith Rowe gave Arsenal the lead against Manchester United in bizarre circumstances in Thursday's Premier League contest, firing home with goalkeeper David de Gea down injured.

United shot-stopper De Gea was caught by team-mate Fred during an Arsenal corner and went down clutching his foot.

Harry Maguire headed the set-piece as far as Mohamed Elneny, who helped the ball into the path of Smith Rowe to half-volley past a still grounded De Gea from 20 yards.

After some initial confusion over whether the goal would be allowed to stand, referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the centre-circle to signal the start of Arsenal's celebrations.

United players were furious and caretaker boss Michael Carrick looked bemused on the touchline as opposite number Mikel Arteta punched the air.

With that strike after 13 minutes, Smith Rowe (21 years and 127 days) became the second-youngest scorer for Arsenal in a Premier League game at Old Trafford after Nicolas Anelka in February 1999 (19 years and 340 days).

United had shipped nine successive Premier League goals at Old Trafford without scoring, their longest such run, before Bruno Fernandes slotted in an equaliser shortly before half-time.

Emile Smith Rowe has impressed for Arsenal this term, but he is now revelling in getting the chance to train and play alongside a Tottenham star.

Smith Rowe – who is Arsenal's joint-top scorer in the Premier League this season with four goals – was initially left out of Gareth Southgate's England squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.

However, the withdrawals of James Ward-Prowse and Marcus Rashford, as well as doubts over Mason Mount's fitness, resulted in the 21-year-old midfielder linking up with Southgate's senior squad at St George's Park.

Smith Rowe is thrilled by the opportunity, though perhaps risked the wrath of Arsenal fans as he singled out training with Harry Kane – England's captain and Spurs' talisman, albeit one who has struggled for form this season – as a particularly surreal moment. 

"Obviously I play against these guys every week but for England it's always different," he told reporters.

"Wearing the same training kit and passing the ball to each other – it's crazy to be alongside these great players. Harry Kane, captain of England, what he's done – it's crazy to be training with him. [Raheem] Sterling as well.

"I always knew training would be difficult. It still hasn't sunk in I'm actually here yet."

Smith Rowe has joined club-mate Bukayo Saka in the squad.

Saka impressed at Euro 2020, though the youngster was one of three England players to miss a penalty in the shoot-out defeat to Italy in the final.

"Me and Bukayo are so close off the pitch, I'm so happy for him every time he plays for England," Smith Rowe said.

"It's extra special to be here with him, we've both come up from Hale End [the Arsenal academy]. It's a big moment for us and for Arsenal as well."

Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe has revealed how kicking bad drinking and eating habits has helped his rapid rise following his maiden England call-up this week.

Smith Rowe earned his first-ever senior England call-up for World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino after Marcus Rashford and James Ward-Prowse's withdrawal.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder burst onto the scene with Arsenal late last season and has scored in each of the Gunners' last three league games.

Smith Rowe told The Guardian that his recent rise came after abandoning bad habits around diet and hydration.

"I didn’t used to eat that well," Smith said. "I wasn’t drinking that well. Before games, I wasn’t really that hydrated. I’ve tried now to focus so much on it.

"Arsenal are strict but I didn’t really listen, to be honest. I think that’s where I went wrong. Now I’m listening all the time."

He added: "Chocolate … I like Nando’s a lot – maybe that’s killing me a little bit. I’ve tried to cut out chocolate and takeaways as much as I can.

"The club have sorted me out with a chef. His name is Chris and he comes to my house every day. I live with my mum and she normally cooks but she doesn’t have to any more. Chris cooks for me and her.

"With hydration, there’s loads of stuff we should be taking before a game and, yeah, before I was a bit too lazy."

Smith Rowe has made 11 Premier League appearances this season, netting four goals and providing two assists. He also scored in the EFL Cup against AFC Wimbledon in September.

It is all change in the England squad, with two players dropping out, and Emile Smith Rowe earning a first senior call up from Gareth Southgate.

Smith Rowe has been in excellent form for Arsenal this season, but was not initially included in Southgate's squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.

The midfielder, who was handed Arsenal's number 10 shirt for 2021-22, has appeared in every Premier League game for the Gunners this term.

His tally of 15 chances created ranks him second in Arsenal's squad, behind Bukayo Saka (19). He has provided two league assists and scored four goals, meaning he is the club's joint-top scorer in the top flight alongside captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

After initially arriving at St George's Park to be part of the England Under-21 squad, Smith Rowe will instead join the senior side after Marcus Rashford and James Ward-Prowse dropped out.

Rashford has only just returned from a long injury lay off following shoulder surgery, and will remain at Manchester United in order to work his way back to fitness, while Southampton's Ward-Prowse is ill.

Southgate might also be without regulars Luke Shaw and Mason Mount. The United full-back is following concussion protocol after sustaining a head injury in Saturday's derby defeat to Manchester City and will continue to be assessed by the club before being released for international duty. 

Mount, meanwhile, has had his arrival pushed back by dental surgery and will be monitored over the coming days.

England host Albania on Friday, before taking on San Marino three days later. Four points from the two matches will guarantee their place in Qatar.

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