Arsenal looking for 8th consecutive win against Qarabag
Arsenal will be looking to take all 3 points as they travel to Azerbaijan to face Qarabag in the Europa League. The Gunners are on a strong run of form at the moment, winning 7 consecutive games despite not playing at their best and Unai Emery will be hoping his side can consolidate their position at the top of the group.
Qarabag represent a difficult test for Arsenal, especially away from home. Travelling all the way to Azerbaijan and back is bound to cause some fatigue as well. Qarabag are a strong side at home, notably drawing with Atletico Madrid in last season's Champions League and playing very well despite failing to qualify from the group. Manager Gurban Gurbanov will definitely send out a defensively solid side that can cause Arsenal trouble on the counter.
Arsenal will be without Petr Cech for the clash, although Bernd Leno would have started anyways. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is unlikely to travel to Azerbaijan due to the volatile situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan and various safety issues related to the same. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Koscielny are still ruled out for Arsenal.
Arsenal are likely to rotate their side a bit following the weekend's Premier League clash and the upcoming game against Fulham in the league on Sunday. We could see regulars like Bellerin, Xhaka and Ozil rested while fringe players Mohamed Elneny, Sead Kolasinac and Lichtsteiner are likely to start. Danny Welbeck deserves a start as well, after impressing whenever called upon and this provides an opportunity to rest either Lacazette or Aubameyang.
Arsenal will approach the game with their usual attacking intent. It is a game they are heavy favorites to win and will see a lot of possession of the ball. The creative players will be tasked with unlocking a stubborn Qarabag defense. Most importantly, Arsenal should be wary of being caught on the counter, something that frequently happens when they dominate against smaller sides but are unable to find an opening. The defensive midfielders will be key in ensuring that they remain vigilant to Qarabag breaking and shut out any such attacks.
Likely Starting 11
Leno - Lichtsteiner - Sokratis - Holding - Kolasinac - Elneny - Guendouzi - Welbeck - Iwobi - Ramsey - Aubameyang