Nothing less than a win would satisfy London side Arsenal when they face Portuguese outfit Vitoria SC for the second time in the Europa League Group F encounter, this time away from home.
With their league match against Wolves ending in a drab 1-1 draw earlier this Saturday, Arsenal have now extended their winless streak to three matches in all competitions.
Manager Unai Emery has received heavy criticism for his mediocre performances since taking charge 18 months back, with enraged Gunner fans crying for his ouster.
The Spaniard’s days at the Emirates seem numbered until he finds a solution to Arsenal’s defensive woes, which has see them concede goals after securing leads.
With three wins from three games and a top of the table display, however, holds them in good stead against Vitoria, who sit at the bottom of the table, looking to avoid their fourth Europa League defeat of the season.
Granit Xhaka and Reiss Nelson remain the only two faces to not feature for the Europa League clash.
The Swiss has been ruled out following his public outburst with the fans during the 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.
Nelson, meanwhile, is still recovering from his knee injury and will return to training in the coming weeks.
The Argentine will be Emery’s sure choice after featuring in all their Europa league encounters. Martinez has two clean sheets from three matches.
Bellerin might once again play the full-back role after his decent show in their home match against Vitoria earlier.
The German would fill the centre-back slot, having featured in all their Europa League campaigns. An own goal against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup had cast shadows on his form but Emery could hand him a chance of resurrection.
Luiz could partner Mustafi as he needs someone with experience to steer a defence which has looked shaky at times.
After returning from injury, Tierney has shown signs of great improvement, pushing Sead Kolasinac to the bench.
With Xhaka ruled out and facing the fans’ ire, the Uruguayan should once again don the deep-lying midfielder role.
A regular starter for the Gunners this season, this 20-year old has made this season his breakthrough one and is a sure pick.
After being benched in the previous game, the Ivorian may return to action to instil some much-needed athleticism and energy.
Since the German’s initial fall-out with the boss, the team has witnessed some rapid changes. He now once again orchestrates the Arsenal attack, having started in their last two outings.
The Brazilian has been the most impressive Gunner in the Europa League. His three goals and one assist hold him in good contention for the starting role.
The 30-year old netted his 50th goal in 78 appearances for Arsenal in the match against Wolves. He is a definite starter.
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