Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Reiss Nelson all look set to feature in Arsenal’s Europa League match on Thursday, after the trio trained with the first-team.
Jeorge Bird reports that the three were in first-team training. Willock, Maitland-Niles and Nelson all missed out on Monday’s u23s game against Sunderland, which suggests they could be set to feature on Thursday.
The chances of Willock making the trip have received a further boost, as Football.London report that he was spotted picking up his passport at London Colney early on Wednesday morning.
All three played a big part in pre-season and have gone on to make appearances in multiple competitions for the senior side. They’ve all played in the League Cup and Europa League, and Maitland-Niles featured in the Premier League briefly, as well as Nelson in the Community Shield.
Given Arsenal’s lack of cover in the wing-back positions, I’d expect Maitland-Niles and Nelson will probably start there again. Willock’s central-midfield position may be under threat, especially if Özil or Wilshere is given the nod. But we’ll have to wait and see.
Arsenal are favourites to pick up all three points against Red Star Belgrade, and will take complete charge of their Europa League group if they’re successful.