Although there’s nothing to play for, expect a similar Arsenal lineup to the first five games of the Europa League, as Arsene Wenger outlined in his press conference today, citing the need to get players ready for the busy stretch of fixtures in December and January. Theo Walcott will start, having recovered from the illness that kept him out of the squad in recent weeks. This will be his first appearance since the 0-0 draw with Red Star Belgrade on November 2nd. Though Walcott has been the subject of some transfer rumors in recent days, Wenger flatly denied the winger would leave the club in January in his press conference. The speculation surrounding Walcott isn’t hard to believe, however. He’s made just three substitute appearances in the Premier League this season, and if he wants to improve his dwindling chances of making England’s World Cup squad, he’s got to find substantial playing time somewhere.
Olivier Giroud, another player fighting for his World Cup spot, should also start tomorrow, in addition to other important squad members that will be needed in the upcoming weeks like Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Per Mertesacker.
While Shkodran Mustafi wouldn’t have featured tomorrow anyway, the thigh injury he suffered against Manchester United appears to be minor. Wenger believes there’s a possibility he’s back for the match against Southampton on Sunday. Everyone else is healthy (other than Santi Cazorla, of course).
Although tomorrow is a relatively unimportant outing for Arsenal, the match still has important implications for the rest of Group H. BATE Borisov is just a point behind Red Star Belgrade and 1. FC Köln. To advance to the Round of 32, BATE will need to beat Arsenal and have Red Star Belgrade and 1. FC Köln draw. Maybe we’ll see some of that classic Europa League drama.
WHAT: Arsenal vs. BATE Borisov
WHEN: Thursday December 7th, 2017 I 3:05 PM EST/12:05 PM PT/8:05 PM BST
WHERE: Emirates Stadium
US TV: Fox Sports 1
Check out livesoccer.tv for all of your streaming information outside of the US. Please do not discuss or share links to illegal streams here.