Arsene Wenger has no pressing injury concerns as Arsenal prepare to host BATE Borisov at the Emirates in their final Group Stage game on Thursday.
Arsenal will end their UEFA Europa League Group Stage campaign when play hosts to BATE Borisov at the Emirates on Thursday, in what is a dead rubber for them, with top spot already secured in Group H. Ahead of the Matchday 6 tie, Arsene Wenger confirmed that he has no major problems in his squad.
The only player, apart from long-term absentee Santi Cazorla, who has is struggling with an injury is Shkodran Mustafi. The German defender picked up a minor thigh problem during the 3-1 loss to Manchester United last Saturday and had to be replaced in the first half.
But, Arsenal Wenger said in his pre-match press conference that Mustafi’s injury is only a minor problem, and that he is most likely to return to the matchday squad against Southampton this weekend.
“The team news is that everybody is available, we just have a small problem with Mustafi from Saturday. But everybody else looks alright. It’s a little thigh problem, but it’s a small one. It’s [Mustafi being back for the Southampton game] a possibility – if not Southampton, it will be [for] West Ham.”
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 6, 2017
Wenger also confirmed that Jack Wilshere will start on Thursday, as has been the case in all but one Europa League game this season. Theo Walcott set to feature for the first time since recovering from illness, and the manager iterated that while he will rotate, Thursday’s lineup will be an experienced one.
“Not too much, because I have many players available who need competition. Next week we go into a week with three games and so some players need competition, some experienced players. We’ll play quite an experienced team tomorrow.”
The experience could come from the likes of captain Per Mertesacker, Wilshere, Walcott and Olivier Giroud, while the likes of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding and Reiss Nelson would be hoping to start another Europa League game this season.
BATE Borisov manager Aleksandr Yermakovich, meanwhile, has no players missing for the crucial tie, with the Belarusian club looking to spring up a surprise in order to remain in contention for a place in the Round of 32.