Arsenal host Molde FK on Thursday in the Europa League with both teams looking to take command of Group B. Both sides won their first two matches and are on 6 points. Molde managed a 2-1, come-from-behind win at Dundalk and bested Rapid Wien 1-0 at home. Arsenal, as you probably know, came-from-behind to beat Rapid Wien 2-1 away and dispatched Dundalk 3-0 at home.
Molde could be a tricky matchup. They’re very much in-form with six wins on the trot. They’re second in the Norwegian Tippeligaen, although they’re 16 points adrift. They’ve got decently balanced scoring, with 6 players having scored multiple goals this season in their league. Their coach, Erling Moe, took over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when he took the Manchester United job. Moe, a former Molde player, has reportedly chatted with Solskjaer about Arsenal’s strengths and weaknesses ahead of Thursday’s match.
Expect Mikel Arteta to rotate his lineup from the side that bested United at the weekend. Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, and Nicolas Pepe should all return to the starting 11, especially after performing well against Dundalk. I think Nathan has got the starting lineup nailed in with his prediction.
Molde will be without defender Kristoffer Haraldseid. Midfielder Martin Ellingsten should return to the starting lineup.
Arsenal’s injury list continues to dwindle. David Luiz is the latest to return to the lineup after missing two games with a thigh injury. Only Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, and Gabriel Martinelli remain on the shelf. Chambers is back in full training. Mari is hoping to return to full training after the November international break. Martinelli is hoping to be back before the end of the year.
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