It’s been about a month since Arsenal opened their Europa League campaign with a 2-1 win over FC Zurich. Since then they’ve played twice, scored six goals, picked up six points, and only let in one goal. Several key players are back in the squad after injury issues, but Emile Smith Rowe has been ruled out for the rest of the calendar year. Arsenal now faces a new opponent in a home and away series this Thursday and next week.
Bodø/Glimt, commonly referred to as Glimt in their native Norway, is the in midst of a historic spell for the club. Originally founded in 1916, Glimt won their first-ever Eliteserien league title in 2020. That put them into the UEFA Champions League for the first time where they eventually fell to AC Milan in the qualifying rounds. They returned again as the Norweigan champs the following season, but made their mark in the Europa League, beating Roma (group stage) and Celtic before falling to Roma in the Quarterfinals. This season they made it a step further to the Champions League Play-off Round before being eliminated. Like Arsenal, they beat Zurich 2-1 and have already drawn PSV. A new name visits the Emirates on Thursday, but one that should not be underestimated.
- Gabriel Jesus
- Martin Odegaard
- Bukayo Saka
- Reiss Nelson
- Thomas Partey
- Oleksandr Zinchenko
- Ben White
- William Saliba
- Cedric Soares
- Aaron Ramsdale
- Karl Hein
- Left Out: Emile Smith Rowe (injury), & Mohamed Elneny (injury)
- Through squad depth and the size of the bench in the Europa League Arsenal can easily rotate the majority of the starting XI. However, due to those two injuries and an uncertain CB plan three Premier League starters will likely be needed again on Thursday.
- On Saturday we saw the return of Reiss Nelson to the Arsenal match-day squad. While he didn’t get into the game, he could factor in on Thursday. At this point, Martinelli likely remains the starter on the left, with Nelson coming in as a second-half sub for either him or Marquinhos.
- Speaking of the young Brazilian, the younger one. Even if Emile Smith Rowe was available, Marquinhos would probably still be starting. He looks very promising and the Europa League Group Stage (and Cup ties) is a perfect opportunity for him, Vieira, and Nketiah to develop a rhythm together.
- With Elneny still out, that forces either Xhaka or Partey to keep playing. Given Partey’s recent injury and Xhaka’s leadership, sticking with the elder midfield is the right choice.
- I brought this up before the FC Zurich match and the issue is still present. What is Mikel Arteta’s long-term plan for rotating the center-back pairing? Is Ben White always going to start at right-back in the Premier League? If so, that forces either Gabriel to always play, or slide either Saliba or Holding out of position slightly to play them together. And if Tomiyasu is now reserved to back up right back, like Tierney at the moment on the left, what’s the point of Cedric? Perhaps that’s another whole topic.
How to watch
Thursday (10/6) at 3:00 pm ET / 12:00 9m PT on the Paramount+ & TUDN.
Arsenal - 2
Bodø/Glimt - 1
While I don’t think Arsenal should underestimate Bodø/Glimt, at home they should be able to control the match, even with the rotations. I expect Bodø/Glimt to put up more of a fight during the return leg, but given Arsenal’s depth and players available to bring on in the second half they should comfortably see this one out.