After the defeat to Man United last weekend, Arsenal will be hoping to get back to winning ways in the Europa League tomorrow night against BATE, who became the Belarus Champions for the 11th time in a row just last week. BATE could still qualify for the knockout stages if they beat Arsenal (and the other two draw) so this is all they have to play for and will surely try to give us a fright.
But we have already topped the Group, and although we may want to win for a bit of pride, there is no way that we need to play a strong team and could try out a few more of our youngsters, especially as our ageing reserves have hardly covered themselves in glory in our last 3 European matches.
Reiss Nelson, Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock have all featured regularly in this competition and will be on the field again, but should be put another couple of youngsters in the starting line-up? Walcott must play I guess as he seems to have no hope at all of playing in the Premier League, but maybe Eddie Nketiah should be given a chance play from the beginning. He could replace Wilshere, who looks like he’s rejoining the EPL squad. Jordi Osei-Tutu could come in as right-back and perhaps the very promising Ben Sheaf could join his mates in midfield.
So here is who I would like to see tomorrow…
Osei-Tutu, Mertesacker, Holding
Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Sheaf, Willock
Walcott, Nketiah, Giroud.
The BFG can stay in centre of defence to marshall the youngsters and Walcott and Giroud should be able to help Nketiah to score. It is about time we saw some real talent amongst our youngsters and this will be a great experience for them in front of a 50,000 plus crowd.
What do you think?