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[Image] 19-year-old makes debut, Smith Rowe also starts – My Arsenal line-up vs Dundalk

By on December 10, 2020

Arsenal wrap-up the group stages of the Europa League when we take on Dundalk in Ireland this evening. This is the team I’d like to see Mikel Arteta select for the game…

Obviously Bernd Leno will be rested so Alex Runarsson will get another chance to impress while I expect we’ll see plenty of changes in defence, too. Kieran Tierney, Gabriel and Hector Bellerin should all be given the night off while I don’t think we’ll see Rob Holding or David Luiz either.

Cedric Soares can return at right-back while I hope we see Pablo Mari given another run out as I thought he did well on his return to the first team against Rapid Vienna last week. Calum Chambers is pushing to start and I’d give him the nod over Shkodran Mustafi so he can get some minutes under his belt.

Unfortunately, Sead Kolasinac has been a late withdrawal after picking up a minor muscle injury in training this week so Ainsley Maitland-Niles may need to fill-in at left-back this evening. That’s a shame as I’d have liked to see him in midfield again.

Sadly, Thomas Partey is facing another spell on the sidelines after aggravating his thigh injury against Tottenham so I’d give Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos a rest for this game ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Burnley.

Mo Elneny should start in midfield and I’d recall Joe Willock alongside the Egyptian. Emile Smith Rowe did well during his cameo appearance against Vienna so I’d love to see him given a start against Dundalk.

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will have his feet up at home as he won’t have travelled to Ireland and I hope we also see Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette rested. Willian has been woeful lately but I doubt he’ll be involved today.

Nicolas Pepe is still suspended in the league so he can start for Arsenal on the wing while I hope we see Folarin Balogun given his full first team debut. The 19-year-old is a huge talent and if we’re to persuade him to sign a new deal, we need to show him he has a future at the club.

Eddie Nketiah can start in attack as well but Reiss Nelson won’t be available as he’s been left back in north London after a clash of heads during training yesterday.

This would be my Arsenal XI:

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