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[Photos] 18-year-old trains with Arsenal first team ahead of Qarabag game

By on December 12, 2018

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Unai Emery invited a number of youngsters to train with the Arsenal first team ahead of our Europa League group stage clash with Qarabag on Thursday night.

With top spot and qualification to the knockout stages already in the bag, the boss has confirmed he’ll make plenty of changes to his starting eleven tomorrow with the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Mohamed Elneny and Carl Jenkinson expected to feature.

However, Emery is also likely to give some of our talented youngsters a run-out with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Matteo Guendouzi, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah set to start.

Emile Smith Rowe is also expected to get another chance to impress having been involved throughout our Europa League campaign this season and he’ll be hoping to add to his two goals in his last three games.

Zech Medley was among those invited to train with the first team this afternoon and the 18-year-old defender could be handed his first start after making a substitutes appearance off the bench against Sporting Lisbon two weeks ago.

We have plenty of problems in defence as Shkodran Mustafi has a hamstring injury, Rob Holding has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury and Dinos Mavropanos is still carrying a groin injury.

With Sokratis suspended for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Southampton, Emery is unlikely to risk Nacho Monreal or Stephan Lichtsteiner against Qarabag so that could open the door for Medley to start alongside Koscielny.

Youth stars Tyreece John-Jules, Charlie Gilmour, Dominic Thompson and Buyaka Sako also trained with the first team this afternoon but places on the bench are the best they can hope for against Qarabag.

Here are some photos from today’s session:

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