4-2-3-1: Ozil Starts As Emery Makes 8 Changes | Expected Arsenal XI vs Qarabag
Arsenal take on Qarabag in Azerbaijan in the group stages of the Europa League. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:
Arsenal will be looking to continue their fine recent form when we take on Qarabag in Azerbaijan on Thursday night in the group stages of the Europa League. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech has been ruled out for up to four weeks after suffering a hamstring injury during the win over Watford on Satuday. Bernd Leno is therefore expected to come in and stake his claim for the first team shirt with Emi Martinez acting as back-up.
Defence: Emery is expected to freshen things up in defence with Sead Kolasinac poised to make his first start of the season after recovering from a knee injury that he picked up in pre-season against Chelsea. Nacho Monreal will therefore get a well earned rest.
Sokratis wasn’t risked against Watford at the weekend due to a dead leg but the centre-back is set to return tomorrow. Rob Holding could be the man to keep his place with Shkdoran Mustafi making way. Hector Bellerin has travelled to Azerbaijan but I’d be surprised if he starts as Stephan Lichtsteiner is expected to come in at right-back.
Midfield: We’re almost certain to see things mixed up in midfield. Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka have both made the trip but I think they’ll be named on the bench with Matteo Guendouzi and Mohamed Elneny coming in to start in the middle of the park.
Attack: There was no sign of Aaron Ramsey is the squad that flew out of London today so the Welsh international looks set for a rest amid widespread speculation suggesting he’s set to leave the club when his contract expires.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan hasn’t travelled as the Armenian requires a special permit to enter Azerbaijan due to ongoing tension between the countries and the playmaker has chosen not to apply for the visa.
However, that could open the door for Emile Smith Rowe to return to the squad as he’s recovered from a minor hip injury but I think Emery may opt to start Mesut Ozil in the No.10 role tomorrow night.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to be rested so Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck could come in to the front three while Alexandre Lacazette may retain his place up front with Eddie Nketiah an option from the bench.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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