Tierney reclaims role, Gabriel rested, Nelson and Cedric start – Arsenal changes vs Bodo/Glimt

Arsenal face Bodo/Glimt in the return meeting from last Thursday, but how many changes should Mikel Arteta make to the side that started the 3-2 win over Liverpool?

Mikel Arteta Reacts After Arsenal 3-0 Bodo/Glimt

Arsenal are in an almost identical situation to last week prior to facing FK Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League.

The only difference being that the Gunners will be away from home this time around as they look to maintain their 100 per cent winning record in the competition. In doing so, take a massive step towards topping the group and avoiding two extra fixtures in the knockout phase next year.

Ahead of Bodo/Glimt’s visit to the Emirates Stadium, Mikel Arteta‘s side prepared for the Group A clash by claiming bragging rights in the North London Derby beating Tottenham Hotspur. For the return meeting, Arsenal should be full of confidence, having recorded a 3-2 win over Liverpool at the weekend.

As Thursday evening’s fixture will be Arsenal’s fourth in just under a fortnight, Arteta will certainly have some big decisions to make concerning his starting line-up. Although, his team selections for the opening two games of the group should provide an indicator of what’s in store.

On matchday one, the Spaniard opted to ring the changes in the 2-1 win against FC Zurich as he handed full debuts to summer signings, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner and Marquinhos, whilst Takehiro Tomiyasu, Rob Holding and Eddie Nketiah all made their first starts of the season.

Then last week, he repeated the trick for the 3-0 win over the Norweigian outfit by naming the exact same side, but the Arsenal manager had to make a few changes to the matchday squad with Oleksandr Zinchenko dropping out and Thomas Partey among those included amongst the substitutes.

Whilst the Gunners were well worth all three points at the Emirates, large parts of the second half showed that Bodo/Glimt possess a lot of quality, and they could spring a surprise if afforded the same opportunities. Therefore, this could mean Arteta names a stronger starting line-up to ensure his side make it three wins from three,

With that in mind, football.london takes a look at the changes Arteta could make to either his starting XI or matchday squad following Sunday’s win over Liverpool as the Gunners are reacquainted with FK Bodo/Glimt on Thursday evening- but this time from the Aspmyra Stadion.

Tierney returns, and Gabriel rested

It was somewhat of a surprise that Kieran Tierney wasn’t selected as Zinchenko’s replacement in the Arsenal starting line-up against Liverpool, especially after playing so well in the victory over Bodo/Glimt. In fact, the Scotland international not playing 90 minutes seemed to be a clear indication that he would start on Sunday.

Nevertheless, Arteta was vindicated in his decision to go with Takehiro Tomiyasu at left-back, as the versatile defender did a fine job in keeping Mohamed Salah quiet. But whilst the Japan international could get another run out on Thursday, a centre-back role awaits with Gabriel Magalhaes rested.

This would also mean Tierney reclaims the left-back role, whilst Cedric – who has recently returned to fitness – might be in line to make his first senior start of the season alongside Rob Holding in a back four in front of Turner, who has been the Europa League goalkeeper thus far.

Vieira in, Xhaka out

Once again, the hectic fixture schedule, in addition to Mohamed Elneny and Emile Smith Rowe being long-term injury absentees, will stretch Arsenal’s options in the engine room until they wrap up qualification for the knockout phase. Perhaps the one near guarantee is that Albert Sambi Lokonga will replace Thomas Partey at the base of the midfield three.

Then it’s a question of who partners the recalled Fabio Vieira – excellent against Bodo/Glimt last week – in the advanced midfield positions. Of the two senior options, Granit Xhaka has played a lot more football than Martin Odegaard this season, so he is probably due a rest.

Nelson starts

Arteta can complete a trifecta if he opts to rest Gabriel Martinelli as well as Xhaka and Gabriel Magalhaes on Thursday, as the trio are the only senior players to have started every game for Arsenal so far this season. This can’t continue for much longer, with ten fixtures still to navigate before things pause for the winter World Cup.

Unlike the opener against FC Zurich, the Brazilian does have a natural backup waiting in the wings. An injury to Smith Rowe has opened the door for Reiss Nelson to start on the left-hand side of the Gunners’ attack – presumably alongside Eddie Nketiah and Marquinhos – and he showed enough in a cameo appearance off the bench last week that he is ready to seize the opportunity.

“We think the potential is there, and we think we’ve seen something in Reiss that is special,” Arteta said of the 22-year-old in his pre-match press conference. “He’s been a part of our academy system, and now he’s going to have an opportunity. He’s been out for almost three months with an injury. He’s back now, he’s fully fit, and he’s ready to play. He just needs minutes now.”

اترك رد