It must have been a bit of a head scratcher for Arsene Wenger as he prepared for the first Europa League that Arsenal have had to face for 17 years, following the disappointing Premier League campaign of last season which saw us finish outside the top four by just a single point.
The boss has a balancing act to perform on these Thursday nights, with the need to build form and confidence against the need to give lesser used Gunners some time on the pitch and also give some key players a rest before playing in the Premier League less than three days later.
From the team news it looks to me as though the boss has gone for a stronger line up than he might have, with a front three of Alexis Sanchez, Walcott and Giroud and with Monreal and Bellerin keeping their places. Into that back three come Mertesacker and Holding, with Elneny and Iwobi in the centre and Maitland-Niles completing the 11.
Holding, Mertesacker, Monreal
Bellerin, Iwobi, Elneny, Maitland-Niles
Walcott, Giroud, Sanchez
Subs: Macey, Wilshere, Mustafi, Reine-Adelaide, Kolasinac, Akpom, Nelson
Hopefully the starting side will get the job done and we will also get to see young Nelson. Wilshere and Akpom given some game time for the Gunners.