Arsene Wenger has several selection headaches going into the match against BATE Borisov as Arsenal continue their UEFA Europa League campaign.
Arsenal face a tricky away tie against BATE Borisov in Belarus in the UEFA Europa League and their already tricky predicament has been toughened by the unavailability of several first-team players. Arsene Wenger himself has chosen to rest key players ahead of the weekend.
While Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Alex Iwobi are injured, Wenger has chosen to rest the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Sead Kolasinac, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal in defence.
Up ahead, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacazette and Granit Xhaka have also not travelled for the match in Belarus. Wenger has instead, taken the opportunity to call up four budding youngsters to travel with the squad – Josh Da Silva, Vlad Dragomir, Marcus McGuane and Charlie Gilmour.
Wenger highlighted the players’ individual abilities in the pre-match conference.
“Gilmour is a defender or central midfielder. McGuane is a defensive midfielder, and overall he can play as a wing-back or even a centre back in training. Josh Dasilva is a left wing-back or a left-centre back. Vlad Dragomir is a Romanian boy, he was with us for a few years, he’s a No 10, Wilshere-style, left-footed, a creative player.”
🗣️Here’s the boss on our youngsters…
“When you get a chance, you have to convince people you have the courage to play and show qualities” pic.twitter.com/KRV6kl7hPg
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 27, 2017
With no recognised left-back included in the team, Arsenal could see Josh Da Silva make his European debut for the senior team. The likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson are also expected to start the game while the fixture will serve as another opportunity for Jack Wilshere to prove his fitness and form to Wenger and the fans.
The onus, though, will be on Olivier Giroud, who has become a fringe player of sorts, in recent times at Arsenal, with the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette and the form of Danny Welbeck. The Frenchman has still shown his importance with crucial goals and a good performance against BATE could earn him a bigger role.
David Ospina is also expected to be given a run out, despite Petr Cech being included in the traveling squad.
BATE Borisov have no injury concerns going into the Thursday game.