Arsenal vs Molde preview | Confirmed team news | Expected line-ups | Prediction
Arsenal continue their Europa League group stage campaign when they welcome Molde to the Emirates this evening.
The Gunners have been inconsistent this season but recorded their biggest victory of the campaign after beating Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon thanks to a second half penalty from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
That victory made it 4 wins and 3 losses from their 7 Premier League games so far this season so Arsenal will be desperate to beat Aston Villa on Sunday to head into the international break in positive mood.
However, first they need to deal with Molde in the Europa League and Arsenal currently sit level on points with the Swedes at the top of Group B after both sides won their opening two fixtures.
The Gunners edged past Rapid Vienna in Austria before beating Dundalk 3-0 last week so Arteta will want to put one foot in the knockout stages with a third consecutive group stage victory against Molde tonight.
Arsenal have confirmed David Luiz is back in contention after recovering from a thigh injury that’s kept him out of the last two games so the Brazilian could start alongside Shkodran Mustafi tonight.
Calum Chambers is back in training after recovering from a knee injury but this game comes too soon while Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries.
Arteta is expected to rotate his squad in order to rest his key players so the likes of Bernd Leno, Gabriel, Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin, Thomas Partey, Willian and Aubameyang should get a breather.
Alex Runarsson could get another start in goal while the likes of Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos, Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson, Nicolas Pepe and Eddie Nketiah are pushing for recalls.
As for Molde, they are without defender Kristoffer Haraldseid but midfielder Martin Ellingsten is pushing for a start after making his return at the weekend.
Molde XI: Linde; Wingo, Bjornbak, Gregersen, Haugen; Aursnes, Eikrem, Ellingsen; Hestad, Omoijuanfo, Brynhildsen
Arsenal 3-1 Molde: This is the first meeting between these two clubs but Arsenal will be confident of getting all three points. Despite fielding a weakened side, the Gunners should have more than enough quality to see off the Swedish minnows.
Arsenal took their time to break down Dundalk last week but eventually eased to a 3-0 win and I expect a similar result tonight. Molde can be dangerous, as they showed with a win away to Celtic, so they shouldn’t be underestimated but I predict Arsenal to win 3-1 this evening.
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