Arsenal have a simple task against FC Zurich in the final match of the Europa League group stage: win. If the Gunners win, nothing else matters (cue Metallica). Arsenal will also win the group regardless of tonight’s result at the Emirates if PSV Eindhoven do not win, but if PSV win and Arsenal do not, the Gunners will drop to second and have to play an extra two-legged tie against one of the sides dropping down from the Champions League.
FC Zurich have had a dreadful season. They’ve gone from winning the Swiss League last year to six points adrift at the bottom of the table. They’ve won one game in the group, given up 15 goals, and only scored 5. Maybe they’re motivated to play spoiler and will put in a shift at the Emirates. Or maybe the match goes as you’d expect an Arsenal home match with significant stakes against a lesser opponent to go.
The biggest question is how strong of a lineup will Mikel Arteta deploy. It’s important that Arsenal win tonight, but it’s also important that his side are in the best shape for Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea. My bet is that it will be a pretty strong lineup, stronger than you expect, as we’ve consistently seen from him in the Europa League.
Granit Xhaka is suspended, so he won’t be in the XI. I expect Mohamed Elneny to play the single pivot, provided he is match fit after almost a week of training, and for Sambi Lokonga to move up to the left side #8 role. Bukayo Saka and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who both were full participants in training on Wednesday, may get 20-30 minute run-outs depending on match state. Emile Smith Rowe and Matt Turner are both out for the Gunners.
Arsenal - Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Vieira, Elneny, Lokonga, Nelson, Jesus, Nketiah
Team news… IN ✅— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 3, 2022
Mo Elneny returns
✈️ Gabriel Jesus captains the side
Alex Zinchenko back in the squad pic.twitter.com/RVHbPKO7Qo
FC Zurich - Brecher, Kamberi, Geurrero, Aliti, Selnaes, Okita, Tosin, Conde, Boranijasevic, Rohner, Katic
WHAT: Arsenal vs. FC Zurich
WHERE: Emirates Stadium
WHEN: Thursday, November 3rd 1 pm PT | 4 pm ET | 8 pm BT
US TV: Streaming on Paramount+ and fuboTV.
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