So Arsenal’s journey to the Europa League Final begins tonight against the minnows Vorskla from Poltava in the outer regions of the Ukraine. The club finished third in their national Premier League which matches their best ever position, and this is also the second time they have reached the Group Stages of the Europa League, gaining only 2 points from their 6 games. They would probably have earned more from winning a jackpot on 666 Casino but at least they have gained a bit of European experience!
On present form, Vorskla are currently 5th in the League and here are their last 6 results….
So although they are not cannon fodder in the Ukraine, this still looks like a pushover for Arsenal and no matter what Unai Emery says, I am sure he will make wholesale changes to the starting line-up.
The coach has already admitted that Bernd Leno will get his debut tonight. He said: “Yes, Bernd Leno is going to play tomorrow. In our planning with our goalkeeper we have spoken with Javi Garcia, the goalkeeping coach. We need with Leno to give him a chance and the minutes of the game.”
With Everton coming up on Sunday, there is no need for our top players to exert themselves and Emery can give our reserves the chance to impress the boss. Stephan Lichtsteiner did the press conference with the boss and is certain to start in defence and I am expecting Holding, Mavropanos and perhaps Osei-Tutu will get a chance as Kolasinac and Maitland-Niles are still out injured.
Our midfield must surely have Elneny in there and will Emery give Torreira his first start as well, although he could be replaced when we have got a good lead. My favourite youngster to make up the midfield would be Smith-Rowe after his pre-season successes.
Up front Welbeck must play. Willock deserves time to find his form and I want Nketiah as centre-forward. This is the perfect game for him to prove his goalpoaching abilities.
So here is my predicted line up…..
Lichtsteiner – Mavropanos – Holding – Osei-Tutu
Elneny – Torreira – Smith-Rowe
Willock- Nketiah – Welbeck
That line-up should easily get 4 or 5 against Vorskla, and we need to see whether our reserve defenders can get a clean sheet, unlike their seniors….
My prediction 5-0 to the Gunners
What do you think?