Arsenal take on Rapid Vienna in our opening game of the Europa League group stages this evening. This is the team I’d like to see Mikel Arteta select for the game…
Bernd Leno is set to be rested for the Europa League group stages so Alex Runarsson is expected to be handed his debut today. It’s going to be a big step-up in quality having joined from Dijon in the summer, let’s hope he impresses.
In defence, we’ve lost Rob Holding after Arsenal confirmed he’s facing three weeks out with a hamstring injury that he sustained during the pre-match warm-up ahead of the defeat at Manchester City.
I’d like to see Gabriel given a breather so Shkodran Mustafi can be recalled. The German defender is back in contention after recovering from a hamstring injury so I’d select him alongside David Luiz.
Kieran Tierney should also be rested and Sokratis hasn’t been registered for the Europa League so it looks like Sead Kolasinac will get a run-out on the left side of the back three this evening.
Maitland-Niles should come in for Bukayo Saka on the left flank while I’d give Hector Bellerin a rest with Cedric Soares starting on the right.
We should see Thomas Partey making his full debut for Arsenal against Vienna. He made a solid cameo against City off the bench so I’m excited to see what he can do from the start.
Granit Xhaka is likely to be rested while Dani Ceballos has been ruled out with an ankle issue. Mohamed Elneny might get the nod but I’d rather see Joe Willock given a run out in the middle of the park.
Up front, obviously Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be rested while Willian has been left in north London to nurse a knock. I’d also give Nicolas Pepe a rest so Reiss Nelson can start on the right wing.
Alexandre Lacazette didn’t start against City so I’d give him some minutes up front with Eddie Nketiah playing from the left wing tonight. Obviously Mesut Ozil won’t be involved, which is a shame as he would have been a useful player to have in the Europa League.
This would be my Arsenal XI vs Rapid Vienna: