Suarez to start as Emery makes 5 changes | Expected Arsenal line-up vs BATE
Arsenal take on BATE in the last-32 of the Europa League on Thursday evening. Here is the side Gooner Mac thinks Unai Emery will select for the game:
Arsenal will look bring home a positive result from the first leg of our Europa League last-32 clash with BATE Borisov on Thursday evening.
Unai Emery has taken a very strong squad with him to Belarus so here is the side Gooner Mac thinks he’ll select for the game:
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech has been our regular goalkeeper in the Europa League so I expect he’ll be recalled tomorrow with Bernd Leno given a breather.
Defence: Emery has been playing with a back three in recent games so he may stick with that formation against BATE. Sokratis is back in full training after recovering from an ankle injury but the Greek defender hasn’t travelled to Belarus as he’s not being risked just yet.
Therefore, with Rob Holding out for the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury and Dinos Mavropanos not in the squad, we could see the same back three that started against Huddersfield at the weekend with Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal lining-up along with Shkodran Mustafi.
Midfield: Ainsley Maitland-Niles appears to be the favoured option in the right wing-back role with Hector Bellerin out but I think we could see Stephan Lichtsteiner given a recall tomorrow with Sead Kolasinac keeping his place on the left.
Granit Xhaka is back in contention after recovering from a groin injury so I expect he’ll be recalled against BATE. Matteo Guendouzi has been one of Arsenal’s best players in recent weeks but he’s played a lot of football lately so Emery may decide to give him a rest with Lucas Torreira keeping his place.
Mohamed Elneny is pushing for a recall and he’s featured heavily for Arsenal in the Europa League this season but Emery is expected to name a very strong line-up so the Egyptian may have to make-do with a place on the bench.
Attack: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is back in contention after recovering from illness that kept him out of Arsenal’s win over Huddersfield so I expect he’ll be recalled up front. Emery may only play one up top away from home so Alexandre Lacazette may be given a rest.
Denis Suarez is pushing to make his full debut after a couple of substitute appearances. He looks like he’s going to need time to adjust to life in the Premier League but he should be better suited to European football so Emery may decide this is a good opportunity to hand the attacker his first start for Arsenal.
Alex Iwobi played well at the weekend so he could keep his place with Henrikh Mkhitaryan dropping out. However, Mesut Ozil hasn’t made the trip to Belarus despite returning to full training as Emery says he’s not yet 100 per cent fully fit.
Aaron Ramsey has also been left back in north London after only just recovering from a knee injury but Eddie Nketiah has been included in the Arsenal squad that flew-out this afternoon.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
/ 14 mins ago
Manchester United begin their Champions League campaign with a tough trip to France to...
/ 2 hours ago
Arsenal have been dealt a fresh blow with the news that Rob Holding is...