Arsenal take on Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League tonight, and Mikel Arteta could end up making quite a few changes.
The Gunners are flying in the Premier League at the moment, but the Europa League is an important competition for us as well. We have a great chance of winning it if we play at our best, and Arteta will demand nothing less.
With the derby against Fulham coming up on Sunday, we don’t expect the Arsenal boss to name a full-strength XI. We think he’ll make at least six changes from the Bournemouth game.
Six changes Mikel Arteta could make for Sporting Lisbon vs Arsenal
The first obvious change is that Matt Turner will likely come into the side in place of Aaron Ramsdale.
The American played four times in the Europa League group stages for us, conceded just one goal and kept three clean sheets. He is proving to be a quality backup for Ramsdale, and he should do a fine job tonight.
In front of him, we expect a debut for January signing Jakub Kiwior. The Pole played for our U21s side recently and his performance really impressed Arsenal fans.
We can’t wait to see him in action, and we expect him to replace Gabriel Magalhaes at left centre-half.
Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka are both regulars in the middle of the park for Arsenal, but we expect at least one of them to be given a break, if not both of them. That opens the door for Jorginho to come in.
The three other changes we think Arteta will make all come in attack.
Fabio Vieira has been brilliant in the Europa League for Arsenal this season and we think he’ll get the nod today. The Portuguese midfielder knows Sporting Lisbon really well, and he could make the difference tonight.
Emile Smith Rowe is back and raring to go, and we expect him to start in Lisbon. The 22-year-old has barely played for us this season, but we all know how good he is. He’ll be hoping to have an impact.
The final change we expect to see is Reiss Nelson. The Englishman was our match-winner against Bournemouth last weekend, and he completely deserves an opportunity tonight.
Hopefully, he can show Arteta that he deserves a new contract.