Arsenal’s UEFA Europa League clash with Vorskla Poltava is on schedule, albeit at a different venue, as they travel with a youth-heavy squad to Kiev.

Arsenal are looking to top their UEFA Europa League group with a win over Vorskla Poltava in Ukraine when the two sides meet on Thursday. The headlines, however, have been dominated by the recent tensions between Russia and Ukraine leading up to this game, and UEFA have subsequently changed the venue from Poltava to Kiev for this clash.

Unai Emery, as expected, has traveled with a more inexperienced and youthful squad, despite still needing a result to top their group in the competition. However, with the North London Derby against Tottenham looming this weekend, it was expected of the Spaniard to rest critical figures for the long trip to Ukraine.

At his pre-match press conference, Emery highlighted the need to give chances to Arsenal’s youth players and experimenting with his starting lineup, which for the whole season so far has consisted of experienced heads, irrespective of the competition.

“We are making some changes for tomorrow for the players, to give them chances. The match on Sunday is important, but first, we need to think about tomorrow. We want to play and to win, and also work with different players because we need all of them.”

As a result, the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are expected to start, with Emery choosing to travel with 12 Arsenal academy products. It could yet mean that experienced players play their part from the start, while the experimental players could come in as substitutes later in the game.

In goal, Petr Cech is expected to take his place, with Bernd Leno being rested. Hector Bellerin is likely to be rested as well and with Stephan Lichtstener still not fully fit, Carl Jenkinson is penciled to start against Vorskla.

At left-back, with Arsenal still not at full strength, Emery could take the gamble by starting Sead Kolasinac, although he does have Ainsley Maitland-Niles available and one could expect the versatile Englishman to start. Shkodran Mustafi is set to be rested, meaning Rob Holding and Sokratis Papastathopoulos could lineup alongside each other to form the central defensive pairing.

In midfield, Emery could bring back Mohamed Elneny, as the Egyptian has only been used in the Carabao Cup and Europa League so far this season. Elneny will likely partner Matteo Guendouzi in central midfield, meaning Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira could be rested.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was present alongside Emery during the pre-match press conference, and one can presume the Armenian will start. Alongside him, Aaron Ramsey is set to start as well, with Mesut Ozil being rested. Emile Smith Rowe should complete Arsenal’s attacking line behind the striker, starting on the right flank.

With Danny Welbeck possibly out for the season with a gruesome ankle injury, and Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rested, Emery should give Eddie Nketiah a start in the central striking role, with Joe Willock likely to be left on the bench.

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