Arsenal clenched a slim 1-0 Premier League victory against Huddersfield Town last weekend to extent unbeaten run to 21 games this season. Game was ending for 0-0 draw but Lucas Torreira’s overhead kick at the 83rd minute sealed the game for the Gunners. Now they play their last match of the Europa League group stages against Qarabag at the Emirates on Thursday evening, leading Group E.
Last leg witnessed the Azerbaijan team collapse 3-0 to Arsenal, even though many of Arsenal’s star players were rested. Sokratis was the only veteran in that match to score a goal while the other two came from prodigious Emil Smith-Rowe and Matteo Guendouzi. These three also notched their first senior goal for Arsenal during that game.
As the upcoming games in the Premier League are of much more importance, manager Unai Emery could let the inexperienced, fresh players assess their future themselves based on their performances off and on the field.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
Cech should be given a chance to develop into his earlier keeping habits as he did when he was at Chelsea. Bernd Leno will be rested, likely.
Defenders: Stephan Lichtsteiner, Carl Jenkinson, Shkodran Mustafi
A back three will be employed by Unai Emery as this tactic has produced him results since the past few games.
Lichtsteiner’s decision-making skills comibined with Jenkinson’s and Mustafi’s experience will be fruitful for the team to motivate themselves if they lose their calms in the game.
Will you love to see Stephan Lichtsteiner play as Centre Back.
— Venger (@paulmiki92) December 7, 2018
Midfielders: Sead Kolasinac, Mohammed Elneny, Matteo Guendouzi, Hector Bellerin
Kolasinac has shown a lot of promise this season especially injecting pace by the wings to cross the ball in to the classy Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who is currently the Premier League’s highest goalscorer along with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
Elneny and Guendouzi can be appointed to their usual roles against Qarabag to maintain the possession and also help the defenders in retrieving the ball too.
Berbatov on Guendouzi: "He’s so confident on the ball & he’s everywhere on the pitch. He’s in his box, the other box, running without a problem. You can be 19 & have the mentality & experience of a 24-year-old. Age doesn’t matter. He’s unbelievable" #Arsenal pic.twitter.com/UN00st6qov
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) December 9, 2018
Bellerin is a speedster and is capable of delivering to the team when needed. With his pace being a huge factor to his gameplay, he will be looking to improve on his ball skills.
Forwards: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Emil Smith-Rowe, Alex Iwobi
Mkhitaryan has had some screamers to his name. He was fascinating in the earlier times of his career at Arsenal but the Armenian will be looking to shine in the upcoming matches too if he features against Qarabag.
Smith Rowe had a great pre-season friendly at Singapore which enabled him to play against Qarabag in th first leg. He also managed to score one and had a great number of chances at goal too.
Iwobi has blown his critics away with many stellar performances in the Premier League this season and his contract extension at Arsenal will lead him to a great future at the club.