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July 2021
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Arsenal’s squad for the Benfica game and our record in the Europa

By Bulldog Drummond

The squads that clubs choose for their Europa game do not have to be the same as the squad for the Premier League.

As has been the case for a few seasons now, clubs are allowed to register a maximum of three new eligible players to the squad in February. Since 2018/19, however, it no longer matters if those players have already played in the competition for another club, even for another club still in the competition.

The squads were confirmed on 2 February.

Here is the Arsenal squad courtesy of Uefa

Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Mat Ryan, Karl Hein, James Hillson, Arthur Okwonko

Defenders: Hector Bellerin, Gabriel, Rob Holding, Cedric, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, Kieran Tierney, David Luiz, Joel Lopez, Zane Monlouis

Midfielders: Bukayo Saka, Dani Ceballos, Martin Odegaard, Willian, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Emile Smith Rowe, Granit Xhaka, Ryan Alebiosu, Ben Cottrell, Miguel Azeez, Omari Giraud-Hutchinson, Charlie Patino

Forwards: Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli, Folarin Balogun, Jordan McEneff

The changes from the group stages in terms of playing teams are

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In: Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Ødegaard (Real Madrid, loan), Mat Ryan (Brighton, loan)

Out: Sead Kolašinac (Schalke, loan), Matt Macey (Hibernian), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (West Bromwich, loan), Shkodran Mustafi (Schalke), Joe Willock (Newcastle, loan), Rúnar Rúnarsson

David Luiz was a Benfica player from January 2007 to January 2011, making 132 appearances for the Lisbon club and winning the 2009/10 Portuguese Liga under their current boss Jesus.

Pablo Marí was coached by Jesus at Flamengo in 2019, winning the Brazilian Série A title and the Copa Libertadores.

This is our 25th consecutive season in Europe.   Unless we win the Europa League however, or have an extraordinary upturn in League results while several clubs above us slip back, it will be our last.

We reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals at the first attempt in 2017/18, losing to eventual winners Atlético de Madrid.  The following season we made the final only to be defeated 4-1 by Chelsea in Baku.

We have however won our group on all four Europa League appearances – an unprecedented feat within the Europa League.  This season we became the 11th team in the competition to top the section with maximum points thanks to wins against Rapid (2-1 a, 4-1 h), Dundalk (3-0 h, 4-2 a) and Molde (4-1 h, 3-0 a).

Arsenal are unbeaten in nine European away games (W7 D2.  Arsenal’s overall away record in the Europa League knockout phase is five wins, one draw and three defeats.

As for the location, we played out a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico against Lazio to qualify from the first group stage of the 2000/01 Champions League.  We were also winners by 3-1 against Roma at the venue two years later in the second group stage.

More tomorrow…

Chaos in Europe; silence in England

2 comments to Arsenal’s squad for the Benfica game and our record in the Europa

  • Omar

    Hi Boys !

    Just as a passing comment; the last time glanced over the league table, Arsenal are a mere “6 points” adrift of “top 4”.

    Yes the next game is Man.City, but as I recall Arsenal defeated Man.City 2- 0 in the FA Cup last season and only lost 1 -0 at the Ethihad this season because the “Arteta” had a “bimbo inspiration” and played 32 year old, the legless over the hill “Willian” {who is a Winger at best, as the Sole Striker, leaving Lacazette and Nketiah on the bench !

    Yes Amazing! Arsenal were a goal down and yet for a full 82 minutes Lacazette and Nketiah were on the bench!

    Given now Arsenal have a strengthened squad with Thomas Partey and Martin Ødegaard in the First team and Aubameyang is firing again with ample service from Tierney, Saka, ESR, Ødegaard and Bellerin….. Hey and playing at the Emirates !!!.

    What say you ?

  • Who is playing at the Emirates? Or are you not writing about the Europa game?