Predicted XI

Lacazette, Pepe, Elneny in - How Arsenal could line-up against Rapid Vienna

Mikel Arteta's side need only a point to win the group and will likely employ a significant squad rotation policy against Rapid Vienna.

9:44am on Wednesday 2nd December 2020
Robin Bairner

Arsenal will play host to Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday, having assured their qualification for the last-32 in what was a straightforward group.

Mikel Arteta’s side have rotated heavily throughout this competition and will likely do so again at the Emirates as they seek the point that will ensure first spot.

Indeed, it is unlikely that there will be too many first-choice players on display, with goalkeeper Alex Runnarsson set to continue to take the gloves in the competition.

The composition of the defence is hampered by injuries to Pablo Mari and David Luiz. While the former is close to playing again, the Brazil international sustained a nasty head knock at the weekend and surely will not play. Furthermore, Calum Chambers is likely out and Sokratis is missing.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles may well be drafted in at left-back, while Shkrodan Mustafi and Rob Holding are the likely central duo.

In midfield, meanwhile, Nicolas Pepe is set to be deployed on the wing along with Reiss Nelson. Mohamed Elneny, back from Covid-19, should start in the centre with Joe Willock. Thomas Partey, of course, is missing and Mesut Ozil is ineligible.

Gabriel Martinelli remains a long-standing absentee in attack, where Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are expected to combine.

The Gunners have scored a group-high 12 goals in their four fixtures and have only conceded a couple of goals in the process.

Their Austrian opponents, while, have several issues to provide head coach Dietmar Kuhbauer with headaches. The majority of these come in midfield, where captain Dejan Ljubicic and regular winger Philipp Schobesberger are both on the sidelines.

Arsenal: Squad, FC Ratings, Matches, Formations

Predicted Arsenal XI v Rapid Vienna

Arsenal - Football tactics and formations

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