Arsenal Team News: Youngsters Will Start Amid Difficult Circumstances In Ukraine
Unai Emery will give chances to a host of young players in his squad for their Europa League tie with Vorskla Poltava in Kiev this evening.
Teenagers Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock join some more experienced teammates in the starting XI.
The Gunners are already through to the next round of the competition and have a North London derby to look forward to on Sunday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Lucas Torreira are among the first-choice players who’ve been left to kick their feet up back in London as Emery has included a host of unfamiliar names in his squad.
"We need to give young players a chance,” Emery said. “They are coming with us because we can give them chances tomorrow.”
Charlie Gilmour, Zech Medley and Dejan Iliev are also among those looking to impress, although the Spaniard has stressed that his intention is to come back from the Ukrainian capital with the three points that would assure their passage as group-toppers.
"The Europa League is very important for us and it's very important for us to win on Thursday and come first in this group."
Unusual circumstances have surrounded the build-up to this encounter for the Gunners.
The game was moved from its original location in the centre of the country after the clashes between the Russian and Ukrainian navies in the Azov saw parts of the country having had martial law imposed on them.
That put the chances of the game going ahead at all in jeopardy, and in the end a switch to Kiev’s Olympic Stadium was found to be a suitable solution.
Temperatures in the capital are expected to hit -7 degrees Celsius by kick-off time.