Good And Bad News For Arsenal Fans Ahead Of Europa League Clash
The Europa League restarts tonight with Arsenal travelling to Belarus for their clash against FC BATE Borisov.
The Gunners come into the tie off the back of a 2-1 win away to Huddersfield Town, but worryingly, defensive question marks remained under manager Unai Emery, having never conceded this many goals at this point of a Premier League season.
Having not kept a clean-sheet in four games in all competitions, and only one of their last six, they’ll look to regain some composure in east Europe this evening.
There are some interesting omissions from Emery’s squad who have travelled out, with highest wage-earner Mesut Ozil and the soon-to-depart Aaron Ramsey not featuring, as well as defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Ramsay recently signed an agreement to join Serie A giants Juventus in the summer, ending his 11-year tenure with the North London club.
Ozil has started for Arsenal just once in their past eight games but Emery has said his latest exclusion is down to not featuring in training properly .
"The players we didn't bring in the squad were because Aaron Ramsey did not train with us and Sokratis only started training on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I don't think it's enough," said Arsenal boss Unai Emery (via the BBC).
"Mesut is the same. (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang, after he was sick, trained this week, and I think he's OK for the match."
After a run of 14 league starts, record-signing Aubameyang was too unwell to feature against the Terriers in the last gameweek, but his return will surely be welcomed by the travelling support who have made the trip to Belarus.
The fixture marks a repeat of their encounter in the 2017/18 Europa League season, with Arsenal winning the two legged tie by a cumulative 10 goals to two. In that year, Arsenal got to the semi-finals of the competition - in Arsene Wenger’s last season - where they were defeated by eventual champions Atletico Madrid.
BATE versus Arsenal kicks off at 17:55pm (GMT).