Arsenal welcome Irish League side Dundalk to the Emirates for a Europa League clash and the Gunners will not be taking the Irish side lightly as they are the first team from their country to win points and a match in a European competition group game.
Arsenal come into the match on the back of a disappointing home loss to Leicester City and will be looking to build confidence among the group ahead of their big trip to Old Trafford to face old rivals Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday – a game they have not won in 14 years.
Arsenal got off to a decent start this season but seem to be spinning their wheels in recent weeks after losing 1-0 to Man City and Leicester in the League and squeaking to tight 2-1 wins over Sheffield United in the League and Rapid Vienna in the Europa League.
The Gunners face high-flying Aston Villa, Leeds and Wolves in their next three games after United so they know they will need to be at their best if they are to secure points against those clubs and move up from the very modest position of 11th in the PL sitting on just 9 points.
In the Europa League after playing Dundalk on Thursday night Arsenal play Molde home next week and away the week after before travelling to Ireland for the return fixture against the Irish side on December 10th. Dundalk come into the game on the back of a 2-1 home defeat in the Europa League last week where Molde narrowly got the better of them.
The Irish club lost 1-0 vs Waterford at the weekend and are sitting in 3rd place in the League of Ireland. They won’t be in need of any extra motivation for the Gunners though and are likely to be more than ready for their appearance on the bigger stage.
With the United game in mind but also the need for a win to turn their form around and not look past the Irish it’s important the Arsenal boss gets the team selection right for Dundalk. With the number of injuries in central defence he may need to play a back three using Kieran Tierney but Mustafi is fit again.
Arteta will be hoping to get captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fully firing again and may take the opportunity to give him some minutes against Dundalk either as a starter or from the bench once the game is hopefully wrapped.
We see Arsenal lining up like this for the game:
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Dundalk