Expected Arsenal XI: 25-year-old deployed in unfamiliar role + midfielder returns

By on October 19, 2017

mohamed elneny arsenal 2016

According to Football London, Mohamed Elneny is set to be deployed at centre-back during Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Red Star Belgrade later this evening.

Arsene Wenger will continue to ring the changes for the group stages of the competition with our key men all rested ahead of Sunday’s trip to Goodison Park to face Everton.

David Ospina hasn’t travelled due to an unspecified problem so Petr Cech will retain his position in goal but otherwise it’s going to be a much-changed side from the team that lost to Watford.

The boss revealed at his press conference yesterday that Mathieu Debuchy will be handed a shock recall with the defender set to make only his second appearance in the last two seasons.

Debuchy made his name as a right-back but he’s been playing in the middle of defence for the U23’s and Football London claim he’ll play in the back three for the first team this evening.

Rob Holding will also play with Nacho Monreal, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny all rested for Everton while there were rumours yesterday that youngster Josh Dasilva could be handed his full debut.

However, Football London claim midfielder Elneny will be deployed in an unfamiliar centre-back role today. The Egyptian made a couple of appearances at centre-back in pre-season so it will be interesting to see how he does later.

In midfield, the report says Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will once again start in the wing-back positions as they’ve done in our previous two Europa League games.

I had expected Jack Wilshere to play in central midfield but Football London claim he’ll be deployed a little further forward with Francis Coquelin coming in alongside Joe Willock after recently recovering from injury.

Olivier Giroud will lead the line up front with Alexandre Lacazette rested while Theo Walcott will be given another chance to impress after scoring twice against BATE last time out.

So according to Football London, this will be our line-up against Belgrade:

I said yesterday that I’d be surprised not to see Coquelin and/or Elneny today and it looks like both players are set to feature while it will be interesting to see how Wilshere gets on in a more advanced role.