By Bulldog Drummond
- Arsenal squad for Europa League game
- Anniversary video index: an Arsenal video for (almost) each day of the year
To begin with the headline and the toothbrush, we have mentioned this before, but if you want a good bit of background then you can find it all here. The long and the short of the toothbrush tale is that whoever is captain for Arsenal tonight, will probably find himself presented with a giant toothbrush (assuming that the ever more hyperactive customs officials on our borders have let it through – and that is not a certainty.)
Trying to predict a squad ahead of a game can be hard enough in a league match but with the Europa it is even harder given that League regulations say that clubs can name up to 23 players in the squad for each game, thus effectively naming a full team plus one of substitutes.
And indeed we saw this in the first match against that rather poor FC Zurich team with Karl Hein, Amario Cozier-Duberry, Matt Smith and Catalin Cirjan all named as potential substitutes.
There are multiple rumours around about tonight’s team one of which concerns Takehiro Tomiyasu, after he commented that he is working hard to get back to his earlier form, saying, “What is required in this league is quite high, and I’m not satisfied. When you look at the players selected as starters in the Premier League games, you will understand what is required to be there. I will work hard in order to get my position back.”
The Arsenal Twitter account posted the message yesterday “Ready for tomorrow, Tomi?” which suggests he will play.
Football.London says that Matt Turner will play in goal, Cedric will play in the back four as will Rob Holding, with Kieran Tierney making up the defence. Such a line up suggest Tomiyasu would play in the middle of the back four, practising as a backup for Gabriel as a left-sided centre-back – which is where he has played for his country.
They then suggest that Albert Sambi Lokonga and Granit Xhaka will make up the defensive unit. Odegaard will drop out – probably to the bench – leaving space for Fabio Vieira.
And they suggest we will finally get to see Reiss Nelson who has recovered from injury. That would leave a front line of Marquinhos and Nketiah.
TBR focus on Thomas Partey saying that he is “looking fine” in terms of fitness, and reporting Arteta as saying that Partey “needs to play regularly and find consistency at that level”.
Pulling all of this new together HITC give us a lineup of
Cedric, Holding, Tomiyasu, Tierney;
Sambi Lokonga, Xhaka;
Marquinhos, Vieira, Martinelli;
But TBR says there will be room for Thomas Partey to play, after the manager is reported to have said Partey “needs to play regularly and find consistency at that level”.
Back with HITC they tell us in a separate article that Fabio Vieira is not injured and will be available for Arsenal against Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League this evening despite a training knock.
Goal states in its video that Vieira is training and although he took a “bit of a kick in one of the [training] drills that they were doing and he kind of limped away a little bit. [But] he joined in again. So nothing to worry about when it comes to Vieira, so he’s going to be exciting to watch.”
Goonertalk also offer us a starting line up which is the same as HITC’s above except for the forwards where they have
Marquinhos, Vieira, Nelson
Indeed the only source of argument about the line up is summarised in this comment from the Express.
“Reiss Nelson could make his first outing for the Gunners since the 2-0 defeat to Brentford on the opening day of the season. He has recovered from a muscular injury and could allow Gabriel Martinelli to get a breather from the start.
“Arteta will want to protect Thomas Partey following his fine display in the north London derby against Tottenham at the weekend. Therefore, Albert Sambi Lokonga will be called upon again in defensive midfield.”
So there we have it. As usual the Untold team will be there, meaning once again it will be a return home after midnight. Some suggest we ought to move closer to London, but I think Arsenal should move further north. Sadly it doesn’t seem to be an idea the club wants to consider at the moment.
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