football

Arsenal predicted XI for Europa League showdown with Dundalk


Arsenal could save some players for a huge Premier League fixture at the weekend as they prepare to take on Dundalk in the Europa League.

The Gunners started their European campaign with a win, despite going a goal down, against Rapid Wien.

They host Dundalk at the Emirates in a tie that only elevates the current crisis over allowing fans into grounds.

If such rules were not in place, the north London stadium would no doubt be absolutely rocking.

Alas, the Europa League clash will be played out in front of a crowd of nobody but a handful of people.

Regardless, Mikel Arteta has some big decisions to make as he prepares his team to face the Irish outfit.

Arteta has big calls to make in defence especially

First and foremost, the Spaniard will be expecting three points on the board to make it two wins out of two in Europe.

But he cannot take anything for granted and will likely field a number of first-team stars littered with fringe players.

Injuries have also forced his hand, with David Luiz the latest casualty.

And with a trip to Old Trafford to face a buoyant Manchester United on the horizon, Arteta cannot afford any more crocked stars.

As a result, the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Granit Xhaka could be allowed to sit out.

Reiss Nelson could be afforded a starting spot after Arteta admitted that he will be given chances when possible.

While Eddie Nketiah looks set to lead the line after growing in stature under the Gunners coach.

Eddie Nketiah could appear for the Gunners tonight

With Arteta looking for stability in his defence, there could be a distinct lack of change in his backline.

The full-backs could be swapped around, but centre-backs – as well as their shield Thomas Partey – could remain intact.

That means Shkodran Mustafi, much-maligned by many Arsenal fans, could be given the chance to stand up in Luiz’s absence.

Gabriel Magalhaes has impressed since signing from Lille in the summer and appears to be Arteta’s favoured defender on the left-hand side.

While Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny could accompany Partey in the engine room.

Arsenal probable: Leno; Cedric, Gabriel, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Elneny, Partey, Maitland-Niles; Pepe, Nelson, Nketiah.





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