Arsenal v Red Star – team news, 32-year-old to start + prediction

By on November 1, 2017

Arsenal can secure safe passage to the knockout stages of the Europa League with a win over Red Star Belgrade at the Emirates tomorrow night.

We sit top of Group H on 9 points after securing three consecutive victories so far meaning a win on Thursday will guarantee we progress to the last 32 of the competition with two games to spare.

Arsene Wenger is pretty-much playing two teams this season; our first team in the Premier League and the reserves/kids in the Europa League and League Cup, and this will continue once again tomorrow.

The fringe players have equipped themselves very well in Europe so far and as detailed in the Arsenal report from the game, we had to dig deep to bring home a 1-0 win from a hostile atmosphere in Serbia two weeks ago.

The performance wasn’t up to scratch against Norwich City last week so let’s hope the boys are back on song at the Emirates as it would be great to see us playing good football again.

Team news

The likes of Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin, Aaron Ramsey, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette are all expected to be rested.

Sead Kolasinac will also not feature and he’s facing a race against time to be fit for Sunday’s trip to Manchester City due to a hip problem.

Calum Chambers is back in training but this game comes too soon so he remains out along with Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring), Santi Cazorla (ankle), Danny Welbeck and David Ospina (both groin).

Wenger will have to decide whether to risk Petr Cech or give Matt Macey another chance but I hope we rest our No.1 as there is no point risking him.

As for Red Star, left-back Milan Rodic will be missing due to suspension after being sent off two weeks ago.

Preferred Line-Up

The team is fairly easy to predict but while Wenger will probably go with Joe Willock in midfield and Jack Wilshere in attack, I’d prefer to see Jack deployed in a deeper role with Alex Iwobi further forward.

Rob Holding and Mohamed Elneny should be joined by 32-year-old Mathieu Debuchy at the back while Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott will get run-outs in attack. I’d also like to see Eddie Nketiah get some minutes after his heroics in the League Cup.

This would be my line-up:

Predicted score

This side was poor against Norwich last week so fingers crossed we’re back on song tomorrow. Red Star were difficult to break down in the reverse fixture but things should be different for us on home soil. We still have plenty of quality in the side so I’m backing the boys to book our place in the last 32 with a 3-0 win tomorrow. Arsenal 3-0 Red Star Belgrade