Freddie Ljungberg has selected a young squad to take on Standard Liege in tomorrow’s final game of the Europa League group stages.
Having beaten the Belgians 4-0 at the Emirates, the Gunners just need to avoid defeat by five goals to secure a place in the knockout stages. That said, a win is needed to guarantee top spot ahead of Frankfurt who play stragglers Vitoria.
In light of today’s injury update and the festive fixture pile-up, we’re turning to the Academy for a helping hand.
Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Robbie Burton, Tyreece John-Jules, Zech Medley and James Olayinka have all jumped on the plane across the Channel. Gabriel Martinelli, scorer of his first Premier League goal on Monday, is also in the squad.
David Luiz, Sokratis, Calum Chambers and Emi Martinez provide much-needed experience; all are likely to start. We’re waiting for confirmation but we suspect Lucas Torreira, Mesut Ozil, Sead Kolasinac and Dinos Mavropanos have also been selected.
The Gunners will be without Hector Bellerin, Dani Ceballos, Rob Holding, Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney (out for three months!)and Granit Xhaka due to injury. Shkodran Mustafi is suspended.
Arsenal host Manchester City at the Emirates on Sunday. It’s going to be a tall order securing a second Premier League win in a row with such a depleted squad, but we’ll start worrying about that on Friday.