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My expected Arsenal starting XI to face Qarabag

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Arsenal take on Qarabag in their final Europa League group stage match at the Emirates tonight.

The Gunners have already secured progression into the next stage of the Europa League by accumulating 13 points from a possible 15, but Unai Emery will want to finish on a high, as group leaders, and extend the club’s impressive 21-game unbeaten run in all competition.

It’s a nothing game for both Arsenal and Qarabag, but it is one that Emery could decide to rest a few key players ahead of the weekend game against Southampton and turn to the youth once again to get the job done.

Emery has already stated that club captain Laurent Koscielny will start the game after the Frenchman recovered from his long-term Achilles injury, and Nacho Monreal may also be in the starting line-up as well.

Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos are all out injured, while Shkodran Mustafi will be assessed on a hamstring injury. Both Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey are available for selection as well.

So, with qualification to the next round already in the bag and Emery likely to rest key players, what team should the Spaniard put out against Qarabag tonight?

Well, here is my expected Arsenal starting XI:


Lichtsteiner          Koscielny          Monreal

Jenkinson                                                          Maitland-Niles

Elneny          Smith-Rowe

Mkhitaryan                                Willock


Petr Cech will continue in goal in the Europa League and the back three will more than likely consist of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Koscielny and Monreal in place of Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi.

Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac should be rested, leaving Carl Jenkinson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles to fill their positions for tonight.

Mohamed Elneny has featured regularly in the Europa League so will more than likely start tonight alongside Emile Smith-Rowe, who has shined for the Gunners in this competition.

Emery will undoubtedly rest Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and possibly Alexandre Lacazette meaning there are chances for Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock to impress, while I believe Henrikh Mkhitaryan should start to rebuild his confidence and find his form.

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