Arsenal make the long-trip north to take on Newcastle at St James’s Park this afternoon, and could be without up to two players.
The only confirmed absentee is Alexandre Lacazette. The striker limped off against Fulham mid-way through April, and has been sidelined since. Arsenal.com insists that he is responding well to treatment, and that he and the team are working hard for a return on Thursday however.
Kieran Tierney’s participation is yet to be announced either. The defender has been missing for four weeks with a knee injury, but has been integrating back into training this week. The official report claims he will be assessed further before a decision is made on his availability.
David Luiz returned to the playing squad on Thursday for the Europa League, but remained on the bench throughout, and he could make his first appearance since taking on West Ham at the end of March.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also expected to feature, although I struggle to believe that he back to 100% after his Malaria scare.
Bellerin Luiz Gabriel Tierney
Willian Odegaard Martinelli
I feel like Arteta will want as fresh a team as possible going into Thursday night’s Europa League semi-final, but he also has the problem with wanting the likes of Aubameyang, Luiz and Tierney to get some match sharpness after they all missed a number of weeks of action.
Should all three be ready to start, I would expect one or two of those to come off after 60 minutes of play, or less if tiredness began to show.
Who would you expect Arteta to pick to start today? Is there any youngsters that should be in contention?