The Arsenal XI That Should Start Against Vitória in the Europa League

​Arsenal will travel to the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques to meet Vitória Guimarães in the Europa League on Wednesday afternoon.

The game, which was moved a day forward to avoid clashing with northern rivals Braga’s clash with Beşiktaş, will give Gunners boss Unai Emery a chance to rotate his squad once more, with the hope of continuing their perfect start to the campaign.

Here’s how Arsenal could line up for the game.

Goalkeeper & Defenders

Emiliano Martinez

Emiliano Martínez (GK) – Bernd Leno normally gets rested for Europa League games, and that will continue here as Martínez will be given his chance.

Héctor Bellerin (RB) – Bellerin sat out the recent 1-1 draw with ​Wolverhampton Wanderers, with ​Calum Chambers filling in in his place, so the Spaniard should be fit and raring to go.

Rob Holding (CB) – Having so far failed to see a minute of ​Premier League action this season, ​Holding needs the cup competitions to keep building up his match fitness. He started the last two Europa League games, and expect that trend to continue here.

Shkodran Mustafi (CB) – Like Holding, Mustafi has also failed to make a league appearance this season, but he too gets opportunities to try to prove himself in Europe.

Sead Kolasinac (LB) – Now that Kieran Tierney is fit, ​Kolasinac has been demoted to Emery’s second-choice option, and that means he will have to settle for Europa League minutes.


Bukayo Saka

Lucas Torreira (DM) – Most of Torreira’s opportunities have come in the Europa League this season, giving young Mattéo Guendouzi a well-deserved rest. The Uruguayan even played in a more advanced role last time out, but he will probably drop back to his favoured position here.

Granit Xhaka (DM) – After a few games away from the lineup to deal with the fallout of his angry clash with fans, Xhaka could make a comeback at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques, which will give him the chance to get some minutes under his belt once more.

Emile Smith Rowe (RM) – Smith Rowe spends most of his days with the reserve side, but gets the opportunity to prove himself with the seniors in cup competitions. With ​Arsenal struggling for creativity, Smith Rowe could be exactly what they need.

Joe Willock (AM) – Everyone at Arsenal has high hopes for Willock, who has made the most of his opportunities to impress in Europe this season. He will be looking to add to his tally of two goals this season.

Bukayo Saka (LM) – Saka has not been seen in the Europa League since his stunning performance against Eintracht Frankfurt on matchday one but, now that he has lost his place in the regular starting lineup, expect an appearance from the 18-year-old here.


Gabriel Martinelli

Gabriel Martinelli (ST) -​ The Europa League should be renamed ‘The Gabriel Martinelli Show’. With three goals and an assist from his two appearances, the 18-year-old has been a revelation this season, and will deservedly get another chance to strut his stuff.

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