Arsenal take on Azerbaijan minnows Qarabag in the Europa League.
The Gunners began their Europa League campaign with a 4-2 home win over Vorskla a fortnight ago and Unai Emery and his team will be hoping to bag another three points against Qarabag later today at the Tofiq Bahramov Republican Stadium.
Qarabag themselves lost their opening game against Sporting Lisbon, who play Vorskla in Ukraine at the same time (17:55).
Despite Henrikh Mkhitaryan not being included in the match day squad due to political reasons and injuries to Petr Cech, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Laurent Koscielny, Emery will have a pretty much full squad at his disposal later this afternoon.
So, with Fulham around the corner this Sunday, should Emery field his strongest team against Qarabag? In my opinion, I believe this would be a good game for a few ‘fringe’ players to have a run out. So, here is the team I’m expecting the Spaniard to play:
Bellerin Holding Mustafi Kolasinac
Welbeck Ozil Iwobi
Bernd Leno will have to start due to Cech picking up a knock in Arsenal’s last game, but the German has shown what he is capable of, while I would expect Emery to rest one or two defenders for this game, these being Nacho Monreal and Sokratis. The back-line chosen should be good enough to see off Qarabag’s attack.
I have been impressed with Lucas Torreira’s tenacity and work ethic and believe he should start as many games as possible because of this, while Matteo Guendouzi has shown he has good vision to pick out a pass from midfield.
Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Mesut Ozil should have enough about them to cause problems from an attacking perspective and feed/deliver balls to Alexandre Lacazette who’s been in good form as of late. Give Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a rest for this one.
With the Europa League a realistic cup competition Arsenal could win this season, the fans will be hoping that Emery can lead them to glory and acquire Champions League football in the process.
That’s the team I would like to see, what team would you pick?