How Arsenal could line-up for Europa League opener at Eintracht Frankfurt – could Rob Holding make first-team return?
Sept. 19, 2019
Last season’s Europa League runners-up Arsenal get their 2019/20 campaign under way at Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night.
The Gunners lost to Chelsea 4-1 in the final in May and face a tricky test against the team who came within a whisker of knocking out the Blues in the semi-finals.
In fact, it’s a pretty tricky group for Arsenal, who will also have to face Belgian side Standard Liege and Portugal’s Vitoria Guimaeraes.
You can listen to commentary of Eintracht Frankfurt vs Arsenal LIVE on talkSPORT 2 , kick-off 5:55pm.
It’s no secret that Champions League football is what everyone associated with Arsenal wants for the club.
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However, their form in the Premier League is patchy, with their 2-2 draw at Watford last weekend – a game where they blew a 2-0 lead – epitomising just how hot and cold Unai Emery’s men can be.
Arsenal will be taking the Europa League very seriously as winning the competition is another route into next season’s Champions League proper.
They’ll have to be at their very best but if they can get a result in Germany then that should stand them in good stead to reach the knockout stages.
Emery has no fresh injury concerns going into the match, however, they are still without striker Alexandre Lacazette, whose absence was felt against Watford, as he has an ankle injury.
Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney and Konstantinos Mavropanos have also returned to first-team training but are not deemed fit enough to play yet.
Centre-backs Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi are available for selection while Rob Holding could make his long-awaited return since he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligaments in December.
Below you can see talkSPORT.com’s predicted Arsenal line-up for their Europa League trip to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Emery could make a few changes from the Watford game and the first could come in goal with Emiliano Martinez in contention to replace Bernd Leno as the Arsenal boss hinted the Argentine would be used in cup competitions including the Europa League.
In an ideal world, Emery would let Holding come back gradually but given Arsenal’s defensive frailties and Frankfurt’s danger, the Englishman could be hauled into the starting XI sooner than he would have expected.
Lacazette’s absence could see Emery use four players in midfield, with the likes of Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock in more defensive roles to contain their opponents.
Meanwhile, Reiss Nelson could have a role behind Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who will look to use their pace to launch any counter-attacks.
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