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Arsenal confirmed XI vs Rapid Vienna: Thomas Partey to make full debut with Aubameyang on bench

Thomas Partey will make his full Arsenal debut tonight after being named in the Gunners’ starting XI for their Europa League group game away to Rapid Vienna.

Partey is set to partner Mohamed Elneny in midfield with Mikel Arteta’s side also finding room for Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah in the front three.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also in the matchday squad though the Arsenal club captain has to settle for a place on the bench. Lacazette will instead wear the armband for the Gunners.

Meanwhile there are also starts for Gabriel Magalhaes, David Luiz and Bernd Leno in defence, indicating that Arteta expects a tough test against the Austrian side, who are likely to be Arsenal’s toughest opponents in the group.

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Shkodran Mustafi is on the bench for the first time this season. The German World Cup winner has recovered from the hamstring injury he sustained in the FA Cup semi-final.

Arteta remains without long-term injury absentees Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martinelli (both knee) and Pablo Mari (ankle).

However Chambers and Mari are in line for returns in the coming weeks. The former has returned to first team training having been sidelined since December with an ACL rupture whilst Arsenal confirmed Mari would return to join his team-mates in the coming 10 days.

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