Arsenal team news update: Attacker ruled out but trio set to return

By on October 23, 2019

Reiss Nelson Arsenal

Arsenal can put one foot in the knockout stages of the Europa League with victory over Vitoria at the Emirates on Thursday night.

We head into the game off the back of a hugely disappointing 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United and the pressure is on Unai Emery to get things back on track as the performance at Bramall Lane simply wasn’t good enough.

Thankfully the boss has virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from as the club confirmed today on Arsenal.com that Reiss Nelson is currently the only senior player on the treatment table.

Nelson missed the defeat at Sheffield United and the win over Bournemouth before the international break after suffering knee ligament damage earlier this month and the attacker isn’t expected to be back in full training until some point in November.

Alexandre Lacazette made his return to the pitch with a second half appearance on Monday night after recovering from an ankle injury that had kept him out for six weeks so he’s pushing for a start tomorrow night.

Emery is expected to rotate his team and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is certain to be rested. Gabriel Martinelli has impressed up front in the cup games this season but this could be an opportunity to give Lacazette some much-needed game time. Therefore, we could see Lacazette starting up front against Vitoria with Martinelli moved to the wing.

Arsenal should also see plenty of changes in defence with Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding all set for recalls after returning to full fitness recently. Fans weren’t impressed that NONE of the trio featured against Sheffield United but it seems Emery was saving them for the Europa League.

I think this was a huge error on Emery’s part, especially with Tierney who should certainly have started ahead of Sead Kolasinac at left-back on Monday night. I understand he may want to ease Bellerin back into action after such a long time out but there was no excuse to leave Tierney out.

Hopefully Tierney, Bellerin and Holding all impress again tomorrow night and force their way into the starting eleven for Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday as we will be a far stronger unit with them in the team.

Elsewhere, we should see Lucas Torreira, Dani Ceballos, Shkodran Mustafi, Emi Martinez and Emile Smith Rowe against Vitoria with the likes of Granit Xhaka, Sokratis, Matteo Guendouzi and Nicolas Pepe rested.