Europa League Match Preview, Team News and Predicted Line-ups: Arsenal vs Molde – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Arsenal host Norwegian outfit Molde tonight in the third group game of their Europa League campaign, and they will hope to maintain their 100% record having secured victories over Rapid Wien and Dundalk in the opening games of Group B.
The Gunners secured their first Premier League win in 16 years at Old Trafford on Sunday at the expense of Manchester United, and they will be in great spirits ahead of tonight’s clash.
Molde are level on points with Arsenal having also bagged wins against Rapid Wien and Dundalk, and they will fancy their chances of leaving the Emirates with a result.
While they will be naming their strongest line-up, manager Mikel Arteta will be keen to hand some of his fringe players a chance tonight after the first XI’s impressive win at the weekend.
Molde used to be managed by current Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with his assistant at the time Erling Moe taking over after he left, and he and the players will be hoping to avenge their former manager.
Arsenal have been handed a boost with David Luiz fit again after sustaining a thigh injury against Leicester City.
The trio of Gabriel Martinelli, Pablo Mari and Calum Chambers are yet to return to full fitness and will miss the game, while Mesut Ozil, Sokratis and William Saliba were all omitted from Arsenal’s Europa League squad.
Molde will only be without defender Kristoffer Haraldseid, and Moe has a lot of options to pick a very strong line-up from.
Icelandic goalkeeper Alex Runarsson will likely get a second start in goal tonight, and the trio of Shkodran Mustafi, Luiz and Sead Kolasinac are expected to form the back-three.
Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos could start in midfield with deserved rests being handed to Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Cedric Soares being used as wing-backs.
Eddie Nketiah could be tasked with leading the line, with Reiss Nelson and Nicolas Pepe the most likely to start out wide.
Predicted Arsenal XI
Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac
Cedric, Xhaka, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles
Pepe, Nketiah, Nelson
Predicted Molde XI
Wingo, Bjørnbak, Gregersen, Haugen
Aursnes, Eikrem, Ellingsen
Hestad, Omoijuanfo, Brynhildsen