Search

Arsenal v BATE Borisov: Early team news

PUBLISHED: 18:17 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:17 06 December 2017

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere during a training session at London Colney.

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere during a training session at London Colney.

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal have been training ahead of their final Europa League Group H match against BATE Borisov on Thursday at the Emirates.

Arsenal's Per Mertesacker (left) and Theo Walcott (second right) during a training session at London Colney. Arsenal's Per Mertesacker (left) and Theo Walcott (second right) during a training session at London Colney.

It marks the start of a busy period for Arsene Wenger’s men who also have two crucial league matches on the road at Southampton on Sunday and West Ham in a London derby at the former Olympic Stadium.

In team news Arsene Wenger said Shkodran Mustafi – who was substituted after a nightmare opening during the 3-1 defeat by Manchester United with a thigh problem – could be back for the Saints game but ‘if not Southampton it will be West Ham’.

Looking forward to the next three games Wenger insisted team selection will not change against Borisov because the group has been won, saying: “[It won’t change] too much because I have many players available who need competition. We go next week again into a week with three games. Some experienced players need competition so we will play quite an experienced team.”

The Islington Gazette was present to watch the players undertake a light training session on Wednesday morning ahead of the match. Mesut Ozil – who has been in good form in the last month – also took part in the workout at the club’s training ground at London Colney.

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil during a training session at London Colney. Arsenal's Mesut Ozil during a training session at London Colney.

However it is expected Wenger will ring the changes from the team which valiantly lost to United at the Emirates on Saturday with Jack Wilshere expected to start.

Wilshere has so far played in every Europa League match but is yet to start a Premier League game for the North Londoners this term.

When asked his views on Wilshere’s family trip to an open air ice-skating rink this week Wenger replied: “It’s not ideal. For your balance it’s not bad, for a footballer it’s not great. It depends as well what you do.

“You can do ice skating by just bringing your child on and making sure nothing happens to them. Ice skating violently, I don’t think he did that.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during a training session at London Colney. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during a training session at London Colney.

While Alexis Sanchez will be rested ahead of the trip to St Mary’s Stadium in the lunchtime kick-off on Sunday as Arsenal have already booked their place in the first knockout round Olivier Giroud is also set to play against the Belarusians

Giroud, who came on in the 76th minute of Arsenal’s disappointing loss to Jose Mourinho’s men scored his 100th Arsenal goal in the emphatic 4-2 victory over Alexsandr Yermakovich’s men in September.

Wenger also refused to be drawn into a war of words with bitter foe Mourinho after the Portuguese boss was duped into believing Alexandre Lacazette was not fit to play.

Speaking after training Wenger said: “I thought he wouldn’t play but in the end he could. What did you want me to do? Leave him at home?

Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles during a training session at London Colney. Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles during a training session at London Colney.

“I’m always honest. I thought really he wouldn’t play. That’s what I was told. He had a test on Friday morning, then even when he went to the game we weren’t sure if he would play.

“But he tried and he played. That’s part of football.”

Arsenal lead Group H with 10 points from five matches and will emerge as group winners regardless of the result against Borisov .

Borisov head into the match on five points and in last place but knowing a win would take them into the knock-out rounds if Cologne’s match with Partizan Belgrade is a draw. With the Gunners still remaining in all four competitions this season, they face another eight matches before New Year’s Day.

Wenger’s side are fifth in the Premier League with 28 points from 15 games and one outside the top four.

Meanwhile Gunners and Saints fans face travel misery on Sunday as all train lines in and around Southampton will be closed due to maintenance work taking place with a replacement bus service available.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

17:30

Spurs took the lead inside 25 minutes at Wembley and never looked back against the Potters

36 minutes ago

Emma Bartholomew takes her three children for a fun city break at Le Méridien Barcelona where they stay in one of the newly revamped family rooms.

14:36

Arsenal have been drawn in the Europa League round of 32 against the team taking Sweden by storm – and their English manager is delighted.

13:37

Arsenal have been drawn to play in northern Sweden against Ostersunds FK in the Europa League round of 32 knockout stage. But how much do you know about them?

13:00

Clapton manager Jonny Fowell disappointed with poor performance from his men as they drew 3-3 with Southend Manor.

Pat Turnbull has recently been in the Gazette’s pages because of her fight to save the Britannia Leisure Centre – but she’s been a campaigner in Hackney for decades. She talks to Emma Bartholomew

12:32

Arsenal have been drawn against Östersunds FK in the Europa League draw as they attempt to emulate Manchester United’s success in winning the trophy last season.

11:21

Spurs have been drawn against last season’s runners-up in next stage of this campaign’s competition



Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists