Predicted Arsenal XI to face Vitoria SC in the UEFA Europa League
Arsenal suffered a shock 1-0 humbling against Sheffield United in the Premier League on Monday night and they will be keen to get back to winning ways when they play host to Portuguese outfit Vitoria SC on Matchday 3 of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
Having put Eintracht Frankfurt and Standard Liege to the sword in their first couple of fixtures, the Gunners are currently sitting pretty atop the standings in Group F and Unai Emery’s side will be the outright favourites to come away with all three points against Vitoria Guimaraes.
The Portuguese outfit are facing an English opposition for the first time since being knocked out of the 2008-09 UEFA Cup by Portsmouth on penalties and are languishing bottom of the group after losing both their previous fixtures.
Unai Emery will be expected to rotate his squad for the Europa League fixture and is likely to have the entire squad at his disposal for selection on Thursday, barring Reiss Nelson, who is ruled out with a knee injury until November.
Manager: Unai Emery
1. Emiliano Martinez (GK)
Bernd Leno is the undisputed first choice for the Gunners but the Argentine has been afforded opportunities in the Europa League and he is expected to start between the sticks on Thursday.
2. Hector Bellerin (RB)
The Spaniard looked a bit off the pace in the 4-0 rout of Standard Liege on Matchday 2 but he needs regular minutes to work his way back to full match fitness.
3. Shkodran Mustafi (CB)
The German has been demoted in the pecking order following his nightmarish displays last season but he is expected to get the nod for this one.
4. Rob Holding (CB)
The former Bolton man has looked quite fresh since returning from a long-term injury and the game on Thursday should be another good opportunity for him to stake a claim for a regular starting role at the back.
5. Kieran Tierney (LB)
The Scottish international put up an impressive all-round display against Standard Liege on Matchday 2 and he certainly deserves to start again.
6. Lucas Torreira (CM)
The Uruguayan didn’t come off the bench in the defeat against Sheffield United but he is likely to feature as a starter on Thursday in place of Guendouzi, who certainly deserves a break.
7. Joe Willock (CM)
The youngster failed to grab his opportunity against Sheffield United but he scored in the last Europa League fixture and should once again find himself amongst the starters.
8. Bukayo Saka (LW)
The academy prospect struggled to make an impression in the 1-0 defeat on Monday but he has been one of the brightest sparks of Arsenal’s campaign thus far and Nelson’s injury could see him retain his starting role.
9. Dani Ceballos (CAM)
Arsenal missed his creativity and work-rate badly in the debacle at Bramall Lane and the fans will be looking forward to seeing the Spaniard in the playing eleven in the mid-week fixture.
10. Ainsley Maitland-Niles (RW)
The youngster played in an advanced wide attacking role against Standard Liege and he certainly deserves another chance to impress.
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11. Gabriel Martinelli (ST)
The Brazilian starlet has made a wonderful start to life at his new club, scoring 4 in 5 appearances, and he will be hoping that Emery hands him another start after bagging braces against Nottingham Forest and Liege.