Arsenal will host PSV Eindhoven at the Emirates for their rescheduled UEFA Europa League clash, aiming to remain on top of their group.

Arsenal, who face PSV Eindhoven on Thursday, saw the fixture congestion take a minor toll on some of their players after a below-par performance against Leeds United at the weekend. The Gunners laboured to a narrow 1-0 win over the Yorkshire giants as Mikel Arteta’s charges maintained their top spot.

Similarly, Arsenal will aim to keep their top spot in the Europa League group when they host PSV Eindhoven in the rescheduled game. The match was originally supposed to happen during the week Queen Elizabeth II died. The game comes at the expense of their clash with Manchester City in the Premier League.

The Gunners have made a perfect start to their UEFA Europa League campaign, notching up three wins. Last week, they beat Bodo/Glimt with a 1-0 scoreline thanks to Bukayo Saka’s first-half strike. But PSV pose a different threat compared to Bodo/Glimt or FC Zurich, with the top spot up for grabs.

PSV Eindhoven made light work of their two fixtures with FC Zurich in the Europa League and Utrecht in the Eredivisie. Ruud van Nistelrooy’s men scored an astonishing 11 goals in the two clashes. PSV remain six points clear of nearest challengers Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League. They still have to play the Norwegian side again, with the previous result yielding a 1-1 draw.

They will still have to wait on qualification to the next round, irrespective of the outcome at the Emirates. With a win here, PSV could leapfrog the Gunners into top spot, but the venue, like the opponent, is a different challenge.

Van Nistelrooy will certainly be hoping for a positive result. Even a draw would be received well by their fans. For now, Arsenal are two points clear at the top and are current favourites to top the group. The Dutch giants pose a different challenge for the Gunners, and this promises to be a blockbuster clash in many regards.

Team News & Tactics

Arsenal

Mikel Arteta knows the size of his squad, and the fatigue signals were somewhat evident at the weekend. The Arsenal manager has little choice but to rotate heavily against PSV as a game versus Southampton awaits at the weekend. A few of his first-team regulars from the Premier League could be expected to feature in a much-changed lineup.

Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny are long-term absentees. Oleksandr Zinchenko, having missed the last four games in all competitions, continues to be sidelined with a muscular problem. Beyond that, Arteta does not have any other issue, and the Spaniard will be expected to name a strong lineup.

Matt Turner will come in goal with a much-changed back four ahead of him. Yet to feature this season, Cedric could be handed his first start at right-back. If the Portuguese full-back plays, Arteta could bring Rob Holding and Takehiro Tomiyasu at the heart of the Arsenal defence, with Kieran Tierney at left-back.

Alternatively, if Arteta decides to start Tierney against Southampton, then Tomiyasu could start at left-back against PSV. The Arsenal manager might call on one of Ben White or Gabriel Magalhaes in central defence to pair up with Holding.

Albert Sambi Lokonga is a sure starter in this fixture, but Arteta may dismiss the idea of starting Martin Odegaard and Fabio Vieira alongside the Belgian. So one of Thomas Partey or Granit Xhaka could play in midfield.

Arsenal’s front three could be another area where Arteta needs to tinker. While PSV are a strong side, the Arsenal manager might be open to playing one of Bukayo Saka or Gabriel Martinelli in the frontline. One of Reiss Nelson and Marquinhos will remain on the bench, while Eddie Nketiah is expected to lead the line.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Turner; Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Vieira, Lokonga, Xhaka; Marquinhos, Nketiah, Martinelli

PSV Eindhoven

Ruud van Nistelrooy will be happy, with a few of his absent players returning to fitness. Although three have made it back, as many as seven stars were expected to be out before the team news came out. Noni Madueke, Luuk de Jong and Mauro Junior have travelled to London.

Olivier Boscagli, Marco van Ginkel, Ismael Saibari and Yorbe Vertessen are all out of contention as things stand. Even those that have returned to fitness might not be risked from the start, and van Nistelrooy may not take such chances.

Even without those players, the PSV manager is expected to field a strong lineup against Arsenal, with a key focus on star man Cody Gakpo. Walter Benitez will keep his place in goal and have a back four of Phillipp Mwene, Andre Ramalho, Armando Obispo and Philipp Max ahead of him.

Ibrahim Sangare is surely the main man in central midfield and will have the support of Erick Gutierrez alongside. Gakpo, who has admitted that a move to Manchester United failed for him in the summer, will be the leading attacker from the left-hand side of the field, with Xavi Simons taking up the other flank. Joey Veerman will play the No.10 role in support of central striker Guus Til.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Benitez; Mwene, Ramalho, Obispo, Max; Sangare, Gutierrez; Simons, Veerman, Gakpo; Til

Key Stats

  • Arsenal and PSV last played each other at the Emirates in March 2007 in the UEFA Champions League in a 1-1 draw.
  • Arsenal have won their last seven games in all competitions, including all three in the UEFA Europa League.
  • Arsenal have won their last nine games at the Emirates, scoring at least twice at the venue in the process.
  • PSV are winless at the Emirates in their three games but lost only once.
  • PSV eliminated Arsenal from the Champions League Round of 16 during their last visit to the Emirates.

Player to Watch

Eddie Nketiah

After 13 competitive games this season, Nketiah has managed only three starts. All those have come in the UEFA Europa League, scoring twice so far. The 23-year-old striker should not be considered only for the continental tournament, as they may need him in domestic games.

There is always the chance of a player being demotivated after not starting games regularly. In Nketiah’s case, he should make his claim with a solid performance against PSV. These games could allow him space to remain sharp in case of an injury or suspension to Gabriel Jesus, meaning the Arsenal #14 needs to tighten his scoring boots.

Prediction

Arsenal 2-0 PSV Eindhoven

The Gunners are in a rich vein of form heading into this important UEFA Europa League clash. Mikel Arteta has steered his side to seven consecutive wins in all competitions. Moreover, Arsenal have won their last nine at the Emirates and will be eager to make it ten.

In all competitions, the Gunners have not kept a clean sheet at home this season, and Arteta will be keen to stop that run. PSV might be on a good scoring run, but Arsenal pose a different challenge altogether. The Gunners are expected to take all three points on Thursday.

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