Coming off to massive Premier League victories and still top of the league, it wouldn’t be completely a surprise for Arsenal to overlook a ‘smaller’ club. However, despite the great form the team is currently on, most of the players starting Thursday did not start those wins over Spurs and Liverpool. This match, this competition is where they get their chance to shine. They don’t want the performance level to drop and knowing excelling in these matches is the best way to increase their minutes with the ‘A’ team.
Bodo/Glimt enter the match having played one additional round than Arsenal. After half of the group stage, they have four points, tied with PSV but behind on goal difference. Knowing that they still have a home fixture against PSV and will travel to bottom of the group Zurich, Bodo/Glimt will feel like regardless of Thursday’s outcome they can advance to the next round. They are coming to the end of their domestic league having only lost once at home, which was to this year’s champions Molde.
- Gabriel Jesus
- Martin Odegaard
- Bukayo Saka
- Thomas Partey
- Matt Smith
- Ben White
- William Saliba
- James Sweet
- Takehiro Tomiyasu
- Aaron Ramsdale
- Karl Hein
- Left Out: Emile Smith Rowe (injury), Mohamed Elneny (injury), & Oleksandr Zinchenko (injury)
- So far this season Cedric has played zero minutes, so perhaps it’s a stretch to predict he will start. However, given that Takehiro Tomiyasu started against Liverpool, as did Ben White, and Arsenal has a lead in the group this seems like a safe place to reintroduce Cedric. Starting him and Tierney at fullback will hopefully allow Tomiyasu, White, and Zinchenko to all be fresh for the weekend trip to Leeds United.
- During the reverse fixture at home, Nelson made his debut this season and was on the bench against Liverpool. I’m really hoping that Arteta believes he can start, not only for Reiss’ benefit but mainly to rest Martinelli. He is relentless on the pitch and Arsenal really needs him to stay healthy if they want to challenge for the top this season. Even if just plays 45-60 minutes, it benefits Arsenal’s attacking depth to get Nelson onto the pitch for more than to run out the clock.
- I expect Arsenal to travel with a number of players from the U21 squad just in case there are late injuries or illnesses. Karl Hein and Matt Smith are the safe picks. But I’m reaching into the depths to pull forward James Sweet who can help provide coverage at both fullback spots.
- Until we see otherwise, it seems like Granit Xhaka and Gabriel will always start. Hopefully, a strong first half, and a lead, will allow Mikel Arteta to sub both of them off after the break for Partey and either Saliba or Tomiyasu.
How to watch
Thursday (10/13) at 12:45 pm ET / 9:45 am PT on the Paramount+ & TUDN.
Arsenal - 3
Bodø/Glimt - 1