The Arsenal XI That Should Start Against Standard Liege in the Europa League

Arsenal will look to build on Monday’s win over West Ham as they travel to take on Standard Liege in the Europa League on Thursday. 

The win over the Hammers brought to an end their woeful run of nine matches without a win. They will now be hoping to kick on and pick up another three points, this time in the Europa League as they aim to book their place in the last 16 of the competition. 


While the Gunners only need to avoid defeat in order to qualify, interim coach Freddie Ljungberg will be keen to see his side build on their second half display in east London. However, we can expect a few changes, with players set to be rested ahead of Sunday’s tussle with Manchester City. 

Here, 90min takes you through the starting XI that Ljungberg should pick for their final group game in the competition… 


Goalkeeper & Defenders

David Luiz

Emiliano Martinez (GK) – Martinez is expected to keep his place in the side, having featured in all five of the Gunners’ Europa League group stage games this season. The shot-stopper has conceded five goals in his last three games in the competition and will be keen to pick up a clean sheet on Thursday. 

Calum Chambers (RB) – ​Chambers played at centre-back for the win over West Ham on Monday and while he put in an assured display, he is expected to shift out to the right side of defence for the upcoming game with Hector Bellerin ruled out. 

Sokratis (CB) – With Shkodran Mustafi suspended for the upcoming clash and Rob Holding ruled out through injury, Sokratis is expected to retain his place in the side, despite playing the full 90 minutes against the Hammers. 

David Luiz (CB) – ​Luiz sat and watched on from the bench for the team’s last game, but will return to partner Sokratis in the heart of the defence on Thursday. Ljungberg will be hoping the centre-back can dictate the game with his range of passing and ability to step up with the ball, while he will also be keen to see an error-free performances. Over to you, David…

Sead Kolasinac (LB) – More injury problems. Kieran Tierney has been ruled out for the tussle with Standard after ​he dislocated his right shoulder during the last match. As a result, Kolasinac will come into the side. With Tierney set for another spell on the sidelines, this is an opportunity to impress and reclaim the starting berth.


Midfielders 

Joe Willock

Matteo Guendouzi (CM) – The youngster has a tremendous amount of potential, but he still has a lot of learning to do. The Frenchman works tirelessly for the team and despite ​Arsenal’s obvious struggles this season, Guendouzi has continued to shine with his tenacity and desire.  

Lucas Torreira (CM) – Granit Xhaka is out of the upcoming match with concussion, while the game may come too soon for Dani Ceballos, as well. As a result, Torreira will keep his place in the team and following an impressive showing against West Ham, he will be hoping to back this up with another as he looks to cement his place in the side. He has an excellent awareness of the game and he has the ability to offer a considerable amount both defensively and offensively. 

Joe Willock (CAM) – A very highly regarded youngster at the club. Willock has featured in all five of the north London side’s European games this season and has found the back of the net twice. He is constantly looking to make things happen and plays with a maturity well beyond his years.


Forwards

Alexandre Lacazette

Reiss Nelson (RW) – ​Reiss Nelson has only featured seven times in all competitions so far this season, but Ljungberg will be looking to rotate and give minutes to players such as Nelson. The winger needs to take his opportunity on Thursday and prove his worth once again. 

Bukayo Saka (LW) – Another prospect that has taken his opportunities is Saka. His agility and speed make him a nightmare to defend against and yet, he still has plenty of room for improvement. A bright future. 

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – The Frenchman was rested for the win over West Ham and, as a result, he will come in to lead the line ahead of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. An exceptional striker on his day and he will be keen to add to his tally for the season against Standard. 


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