MIKEL ARTETA is set to continue his rotation policy for Arsenal’s game against Rapid Vienna on Thursday.
Emirates Stadium will welcome back 2,000 fans for the Europa League clash with the team already qualified from Group B.
The Gunners boss may be tempted to change things up regardless, given his senior stars’ poor form in the Premier League.
Cup competitions have been an oasis of good results for the club with the likes of Reiss Nelson and Cedric Soares getting regular runouts.
Sead Kolasinac, Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock, Runar Runarsson, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe, who is suspended in the league, are all pushing for a start.
Ahead of the game, Arteta declared his happiness with how his reserve players have performed in the cups.
He told reporters: “We’ve been really consistent in other competitions apart from the Premier League.
“I think we’ve played 16 competitive games this season, we’ve won ten, lost five and drawn one – all of them in the Premier League.
“We cannot treat the game differently. Our aim is to go there tomorrow. We have a really bad taste from losing the game against Wolves.”
Kolasinac and Elneny have overcome coronavirus to re-enter the Arsenal manager’s thoughts.
Bukayo Saka is hoping to shrug off a knock that ruled him out of the Wolves defeat.
With a trip to Tottenham on Sunday, Arteta must decide if he wants to use the Rapid match to return some of his top stars to form.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Dani Ceballos and Alexandre Lacazette could all do with a shot in the arm.
But the coach may prefer to rest them up for the North London derby.
David Luiz will sit out the match after suffering a head injury in the collision with Raul Jimenez on Monday night.
Also unavailable will be Calum Chambers, Gabriel Martinelli, Pablo Mari and Thomas Partey.
The Ghanaian may need another few weeks to overcome a thigh problem and Arteta praised his star’s work ethic.
He continued: “[Partey] has been training separately in the last week or so and we have to scan him again to see how he’s feeling.
“He’s a player that is so willing, that is pushing us every day and he wants to do it.
“At the same time, we have to protect him and make sure that when he gets back in the team, he is ready to do that and to whatever extent of minutes we can use him.”
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