Competition: Europa League
Arsenal kick off at the unusual time of 6pm tonight away to BATE Borisov, hardly the most glamorous of ties. Even though the Gunners shouldn’t have the most difficult of times, the manager has brought an experienced squad for the match.
There are a couple of players in the squad who haven’t made a first team for the club yet. However, it also includes Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles who have been around the first team squad for the while. Maitland-Niles is likely to play right wing back tonight, even though Wenger has talked about his future as a defensive central midfielder.
The team the manager puts out tonight should be experienced enough but doesn’t tire the first team players available who will be needed against Brighton this weekend.
Ospina will start in goal, with the back three central defenders most likely consisting of Mustafi, Mertesacker and Holding. Even though Mustafi will most likely start at the weekend he should be able to do both. The young Englishman needs a run of games for his confidence to increase after his poor recent run of games, which the Europa League could be a perfect competition.
Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles should start as the wingbacks, with Elneny and Wilshere in as the central midfielders. We could see the first appearance of Josh Dasilva who might play as the attacking midfielder in the trio. Upfront will be Olivier Giroud, who will be still trying to prove that he should be Arsenal’s starting striker. With Theo Walcott hopefully getting a start behind the striker.
It will be a test playing away from home with a young team, but Wenger should be able to take all three points and push on to claim top spot in the Europa League group.