Its that time of the week again, Thursday, which means Arsenal are in for some more Europa League action.
Tonight will see the gunners play out the 2nd leg of our round of 32 tie against Ostersunds, who they beat 3-0 in the 1st leg away in Sweden.
Returning to the Emirates has usually been a massive boost this season considering our away form in the league, but that isn’t the case this time around.
With those three goals and the away goal too, this should make the second leg a more comfortable affair for Arsenal.
However, one thing that could stand in the way of a comfortable night at the Emirates is injuries and illness.
According to Arsene Wenger, Aaron Ramsey is still not ready to get back into the action just yet and Mesut Ozil has been sick but should be available for Sunday’s League Cup final.
I wouldn’t be too worried about the ‘sickness’ though as we’ve seen Wenger rule players like Lacazette out before games this season only for them to start said game.
So, what I’m seeing is Wenger just trying to keep Ozil fresh for Sunday’s cup final.
Arsenal will also be without Alexandre Lacazette, who was ruled out for a few weeks, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is ineligible to play for us in the competition, meaning Wenger doesn’t have to come out and say he’s picked up a knock to keep him out of tonight’s game.
With two of our main strikers unavailable and the aggregate scoreline so much in the Gunners’ favour, you’d think this would open the door for the likes of Eddie Nketiah to start tonight.
The young striker has impressed in his cameos so far this season, including his brace on his home debut against Norwich, so tonight would be a great chance to impress on his first Arsenal start.
But, Wenger has said that Danny Welbeck will be the one to play tomorrow which seems like the more sensible move in terms of experience, but one that could have been a lot more exciting.
With the turnaround for this game and the Cup final so short though, it’s likely that we’ll see some rotation further down the pitch where fresh legs are needed like in midfield or our full back positions.
But whoever is played tonight, one thing that should be certain is that Arsenal will be included in the draw for the round of 16 and continuing their journey back to the Champions League.