Fresh Arsenal Injury Blow Could Force Emery To Start Mesut Ozil Against Qarabag

By on December 13, 2018

Arsenal have been dealt a fresh injury blow ahead of tonight’s Europa League clash with Qarabag after Emile Smith Rowe picked up a knock in training, according to Football London.

Unai Emery has confirmed he will make wholesale changes to his starting eleven this evening with the boss taking the opportunity to once again rest his key players in the group stages of the Europa League.

With qualification to the knockout stages of the competition as group winners already secured, Emery will give some of our fringe players a run out while some of the U23’s will also be given a chance to impress.

Smith Rowe was fully expected to be handed another start having featured in four of our five Europa League games so far this season and the teenager would have been keen to continue his fine form having scored twice in his last three outings.

However, as reported by Football London, Smith Rowe will miss the visit of Qarabag tonight after picking up a knock in training. The attacking midfielder wasn’t spotted on the training pitch at London Colney on Wednesday and will now sit out the game this evening.

Fortunately, the report says the injury isn’t thought to be serious so Smith Rowe won’t be out for too long but it will still be a blow for the youngster to miss a great chance to show-case his talents at the Emirates.


Hopefully the 18-year-old is able to make a swift recovery and put himself in contention for our League Cup clash with Tottenham next Wednesday but his absence leaves Emery with a void to fill against Qarabag.

Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah are expected to start while Alex Iwobi could also be given a run out in attack but Smith Rowe’s injury could see Mesut Ozil being handed a start this evening.

The German playmaker has missed the last four matches with a back injury but returned to full training this week and Emery confirmed yesterday that Ozil would be in the squad tonight.

Usually, Ozil wouldn’t feature in a Europa League game but he seems to have lost his first team place and Emery may feel this is a good opportunity for him to get some minutes ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Southampton on Sunday.


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