Arsenal have won the Europa League group. Dundalk are finishing last. I expect the Irish side to come out hard to get off the schneid, but that shouldn’t concern the Gunners. The biggest concern for today’s match should be staying healthy. The busy Christmas period of fixtures is basically upon us, and Mikel Arteta will need all hands on deck.
My second biggest concern (hope?) is that Arteta gets some of the younger guys who’ve made the Europa League roster during the group stage a run-out. Eddie Nketiah will probably lead the line to start, but hopefully Folarin Balogun can get 30+ minutes. Emile Smith Rowe should start. I’d love for a Miguel Azeez cameo, but playing the 17-year old in a senior match might be a bridge too far.
The Arsenal physio’s room is slowly emptying out, which is good news. Gabriel Martinelli played 45 minutes for the U23’s this week. We saw Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers make their return last week. Thomas Partey is the only spot of bad news. The midfielder will miss the next few matches with an injury in the same area as the one that he suffered before the November international break.
Here’s what happened when the two sides last met:
Arsenal - Runarsson, Chambers, Mari, Mustafi, Cedric, Smith Rowe, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Pepe, Nketiah
Dundalk - Rogers, Cleary, Boyle, Hoare, Leahy, Flores, Shields, Gannon, McEleney, Duffy, McMillan
This is how we line up for the final game of the 2020 season against Arsenal at the Dublin Arena.— DundalkFC (@DundalkFC) December 10, 2020
➡️ Sean Hoare, Darragh Leahy and Jordan Flores are all restored to the starting XI while Stefan Colovic is fit to take his place on the bench.#CmonTheTown #UEL pic.twitter.com/ytWUWYelCT
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