Vorskla v Arsenal preview | injury boost for Gunners, kids to start + prediction

By on November 29, 2018

matteo guendouzi

Arsenal are looking to wrap-up top spot in Group E after UEFA confirmed our Europa League clash with Vorskla will go ahead in Kiev this evening.

The hosts suggested on Wednesday that they might not be able to fulfill the fixture after the game was moved to Kiev due to safety concerns amid on-going tensions between Ukraine and Russia, however, the game will go ahead as scheduled at 5.55pm.

Arsenal currently sit three points clear of Sporting Lisbon at the top of the table following the 0-0 draw at the Emirates earlier this month and with Vorskla sitting third on just 3 points, qualification to the knockouts is already in the bag.

However, we want to finish first and we can secure safe passage as Group E winners with victory over Vorskla this evening while a draw will also be enough if Sporting fail to beat Qarabag in today’s other game.

Team News

Stephan Lichtsteiner is back in contention after recovering from a hamstring injury but Nacho Monreal and Danny Welbeck remain on the sidelines. Laurent Koscielny made his comeback with 45 minutes for the U23’s on Monday but he won’t be involved today.

Unai Emery has left Alexandre Lacazette back in north London to make sure he’s fully recovered for Sunday’s clash with Tottenham after he missed the win at Bournemouth with a minor groin injury.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil, Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Sokratis, Hector Bellerin, Alex Iwobi, Bernd Leno and Sead Kolasinac have also been left behind to rest ahead of the NLD.

Therefore, Emery has called-up youngsters Joe Willock, Charlie Gilmour, Tyreece John-Jules, Zech Medley, Bukayo Saka, Dominic Thompson and Jordi Osei-Tutu to the squad.

Preferred line-up

It will be interesting to see how Emery lines-up at the back but I’d like to see Carl Jenkinson at left-back with Mo Elneny starting alongside Rob Holding in the middle of defence. The Egyptian has played there on occasion in the past so he can do a job.

I hope we see Ainsley Maitland-Niles given a chance alongside Matteo Guendouzi in midfield while youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah should also start this evening along with Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

This would be my line-up:

football formations


Arsenal don’t have a great record in the Ukraine having lost four of our last five visits but this game will feel like a ‘neutral’ match rather than a hostile away fixture given it’s been relocated so that should help us. Vorskla scored two late goals during the 4-2 win at the Emirates but they were pretty poor for most of that game. I’m not expecting a classic by any means as the freezing conditions will make life tough for the players but we should have enough to edge a 1-0 win.

Vorskla 0-1 Arsenal