Arsenal take on Molde in Norway this evening knowing a win will book our place in the knockout stages of the Europa League. This is the team I’d like to see Mikel Arteta select for the game…
Obviously it would be nice to get qualification done and dusted but the priority for Arsenal has to be getting a win against Wolves on Sunday so I’d rest our big guns this evening, including Bernd Leno. Therefore, Alex Runarsson should make his second start for the club in goal.
Gabriel, Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney should all be given a rest so I’d make wholesale changes in defence. Ainsley Maitland-Niles can start at left-back as Sead Kolasinac is still out while Cedric Soares can be recalled at right-back.
David Luiz is available again after missing Arsenal’s draw with Leeds Utd at the weekend to attend the birth of his daughter and I’d start the Brazilian alongside Shkodran Mustafi in the middle of the back four.
In midfield, Thomas Partey remains out as he’s still nursing a thigh injury while Mo Elneny is still self isolating after testing positive for covid so Arteta doesn’t have too many options in the middle of the park.
Hopefully the boss gives some of the youngsters a chance and I’d like to see Emile Smith Rowe given a start. He’s back to full fitness so let’s see what he can do in the first team. Joe Willock should also be given another run out despite his poor display at Leeds.
Miguel Azeez has travelled and the 17-year-old is tipped to make his first team debut at some point but we need some experience in the team so I’d go with Granit Xhaka alongside Smith Rowe and Willock.
Obviously Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be rested while Bukayo Saka hasn’t travelled after picking up a knee injury on Sunday. Willian is also out after aggravating a calf problem so Reiss Nelson should get a start in attack.
Nicolas Pepe will be suspended on Sunday following his sending off against Leeds so it would make sense to start him tonight. Alexandre Lacazette could feature while Folarin Balogun is another option for Arsenal but I’d go with Eddie Nketiah up front.
This would be my Arsenal XI: