Takehiro Tomiyasu could continue at left-back when Arsenal take on PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
The lineups from Arsenal for midweek European clashes are a source of frustration, as Mikel Arteta keeps his decisions close to the chest. The Spaniard is expected to tinker with his squad against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday without revealing much about available players for.
Arteta’s decison to play William Saliba and others against Bodo/Glimt resulted in a jaded performance against Leeds United on Sunday. The team came out unscathed, but there are a few doubts ahead of the PSV Eindhoven encounter.
Arteta answered many questions during his pre-match press conference. And to the surprise of many, he did give an update on a player. After Gabriel Martinelli and Oleksandr Zinchenko missed an open training session, doubts emerged over their involvement against PSV on Thursday.
Specifically asked about the availability of the duo for Thursday and Arteta said, “No, they are not ruled out, but we will see tomorrow what we decide.”
Several questions centered around Zinchenko as the Ukrainian international is yet to train since the North London Derby. The Arsenal manager was asked whether it is a source of worry. And Arteta said, “No, I don’t think so. Obviously, he had a current injury in his calf, and that’s why he’s been out for this period.”
Regarding the starting lineup, Matt Turner is expected to feature between the sticks. Takehiro Tomiyasu is likely to remain at left-back against PSV. In that case, Kieran Tierney will take his place at the weekend against Southampton. Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding should start at the heart of the Arsenal defence, while Cedric Soares will likely make his first start of the season.
Albert Sambi Lokonga should retain his holding midfield position. And the Belgian midfielder will have Fabio Vieira and Granit Xhaka on either side in the middle of the park. With Martinelli failing to train before the game, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Eddie Nketiah will form the frontline, similar to the Bodo/Glimt game last week.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Turner; Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Vieira, Lokonga, Xhaka; Saka, Nketiah, Nelson