It always looked like Arsenal would use the Europa League as a chance to give the fringe players some playing time, but they’ve had some poor results lately so it’s vital that they get a win against Dundalk tonight.
On paper this shouldn’t even be close but the Irish side have plenty of European scalps under their belt, and they were unlucky to lose to Molde in their opener.
Mikel Arteta has a lot of defensive problems tonight due to injury and leaving some of the senior players out of the Europa League squad, so it looks like Sead Kolasinac will play centrally, while Maitland Niles and Cedric will take up the full back positions:
? Tonight’s team news…
?? @RunarAlex set for debut appearance
??????? @EddieNketiah9 leads the attack
??????? @ReissNelson9 also handed a start
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 29, 2020
It will also be interesting to see how Runarsson gets on, while there are plenty of changes in the midfield and up front too.
The makeshift defence will give Dundalk some hope of creating some chances, and it appears that some of the fans are nervous about how they will fare:
Mustafi-Kolasinac has is the the worst CB partnerships to ever start a game for Arsenal, anyway we move ?
— Saliba?. (@SalibaEra_) October 29, 2020
A Mustafi-Kolasinac CB partnership could genuinely see Dundalk score a goal. Excited to see Nelson and Willock in the XI but the defence does worry me slightly. Balogun on the bench is an interesting inclusion.
— Dylan Walsh (@dylanwalsh_) October 29, 2020
Mustafi-Kolasinac in central defence. Comic.
— Ifreke Inyang (@Ifreke) October 29, 2020
I think it’s high time to question @m8arteta’s team selection. Why is William Saliba not being selected. He doesn’t ven make the bench while we play Mustafi and Kolasinac as our CB’s.
— S. Dressman?? (@XammyOfficial) October 29, 2020
There was a time when I never wanted to see Mustafi, Kolasinac and Xhaka in the team again… not much has changed ?
— Perry ‘Pep’ Short (@pezshort33) October 29, 2020
Kolasinac and Mustafi….as a pairing…..kill me
— Tom??????????#EndSARS (@TMftbl) October 29, 2020
The disrespect to Dundalk playing a centre back pairing of Mustafi – Kolasinac
— Calum (@CalArsenal) October 29, 2020
Kolasinac and Mustafi in defence with Runarsson debuting. ?????? Should be easy for Dundalk. Sigh. #AFC #UEL #DUNARS
— Sullivan Noronha (@NoronhaSullivan) October 29, 2020
It looks like William Saliba is fit but he’s simply not available for selection because he wasn’t registered to play in the competition, so it will be interesting to see if that decision comes back to bite Arsenal.