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18-y/o Starts As Emery Makes 9 Changes | Expected Arsenal XI vs Sporting Lisbon

Arsenal take on Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates on Thursday night. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:

Arsenal will be looking to secure top spot and qualification to the knockout stages of the Europa League when they take on Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates on Thursday night. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:

Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno appears to have established himself as Emery’s No.1 so he may be given a rest with fit-again Petr Cech coming back in to the side tomorrow. Cech will be keen to impress after losing the first team shirt but he was poor against Blackpool last week so hopefully he’s in better form tomorrow night.

Defence: Sokratis was in full training today after recovering from an ankle injury that’s hampered him recently so the Greek international could return in the middle of defence. Shkodran Mustafi conducted the pre-match press conference alongside Emery this afternoon – which is usually a sign that player will start – so Ron Holding could be given a breather against Sporting.

Nacho Monreal won’t be risked as Emery wants to be cautious with his hamstring injury so the boss has a decision to make at left-back. Sead Kolasinac returned against Liverpool at the weekend but it might be a risk to start him again as he’s only just recovered from a hamstring complaint so Ainsley Maitland-Niles may get the nod ahead of Carl Jenkinson.

Hector Bellerin is expected to be rested so Stephan Lichtsteiner will come in at right-back but Laurent Koscielny is still unavailable for selection as he continues to recover from an Achilles problem.

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Midfield: Granit Xhaka is likely to be given a well-earned breather so Matteo Guendouzi should be recalled having missed the Liverpool game due to suspension. Mohamed Elneny is out for another week with a thigh injury so Lucas Torreira might keep his place in midfield if Maitland-Niles is deployed in defence.

Attack: We should see plenty of changes in attack with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette expected to be rested ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Wolves.

Danny Welbeck is set for a recall up front and he’ll be looking to impress after a disappointing display against Blackpool in the League Cup while Alex Iwobi could also come in to the side after being overlooked in favour of Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the weekend.

Emile Smith Rowe has featured in the cups this season and I expect the 18-year-old to be given another chance to impress against Sporting while youth striker Eddie Nketiah should also be named on the bench.

Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:

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