Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon: Europa League team news
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Arsenal reporter Layth Yousif has been running his expert eye over Unai Emery’s side during training at London Colney on Wednesday. Read the latest team news ahead of the Gunners hosting Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates in the Europa League on Thursday evening.
Arsenal host Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League at the Emirates on Thursday evening.
Victory in the Group E clash will confirm the Gunners qualification for the knock-out stages in the spring.
Progression will also have the benefit of allowing their final two matches against Vorskla in the Ukraine and Qarabag in North London to be used as a proving ground for the club’s talented youngsters while more experienced players are rested.
Lisbon arrive in N5 in a state of disarray after sacking their boss Jose Peseiro after losing to second-division Estoril in the League Cup which came hard on the heels of their 1-0 defeat to the Gunners at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in the Portuguese capital two weeks ago.
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Danny Welbeck scored an excellent winner with a clinical finish and was hailed by the three daily national newspapers devoted entirely to sport, with O Jogo hailing him as the ‘Welbeck Express’.
However it is expected Unai Emery will heavily rotate his squad with Julio Pleguezuelo an option after making his debut against Blackpool in the Carabao Cup.
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Petr Cech will be back in goal after losing his first team No1 spot to Bernd Leno while Stephan Lichtsteiner will come in at right-back.
Left-back is still a problem area for Emery with Nacho Monreal nursing a hamstring injury but Sead Kolasinac returned their against Liverpool and trained this week – although Ainsley Maitland-Niles could also feature.
The Islington Gazette ran the rule over the side during their training session at London Colney on Wednesday morning noting that Monreal was being eased back into the squad by training by himself.
Mohamed Elneny was missing while Laurent Koscielny trained – although is still short of playing for the first team this week.
Highly-rated starlet Emile Smith Rowe should start behind lone striker Welbeck with Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette rested despite also training midweek.
The impressive Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mhitaryan are set to feature on the flanks as Emery gives his squad a run-out.
See our website and Arsenal Facebook for more on this match and follow Gunners reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29