Back in the Europa League for a dead-rubber group stage game, let’s take a look at our predicted Arsenal lineup for Dundalk.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta gestures from the sidelines during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 8, 2020. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta gestures from the sidelines during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium in London on November 8, 2020. Arteta is set to rotate heavily in our predicted Arsenal lineup for Dundalk (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP)

There’s pretty much nothing on the line for this one, with Arsenal already topping the group and Dundalk confirming their position in fourth last week. The Gunners are simply playing to complete a perfect group stage of six wins.

Then again, there are Premier League starting spots on the line, so the individuals involved have something to play for. Given the severe underperformance in the league, some will feel they can displace those ahead of them if they impress.

Mikel Arteta is likely to rotate heavily from the North London derby at the weekend. Let’s take a look at our predicted Arsenal lineup for Dundalk.

Goalkeeper

LONDON, ENGLAND: Runar Alex Runarsson of Arsenal is challenged by Patrick Hoban of Dundalk on October 29, 2020. Runarsson is back in our predicted Arsenal lineup for Dundalk (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Runar Alex Runarsson should get another chance in goal. He’s been playing well in the group stage matches so far, and this is another free hit for him to make his case for further opportunities.

Bernd Leno will drop to the bench, assuming he’s in the squad at all. Arsenal could choose to leave him behind to rest and take Matt Macey and Karl Hein instead.

Defence

Arsenal's Spanish defender Pablo Mari celebrates scoring their second goal during the UEFA Europa League 1st Round Group B football match between Arsenal and Rapid Vienna at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 3, 2020. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish defender Pablo Mari celebrates scoring their second goal on December 3, 2020. Mari makes our predicted Arsenal lineup for Dundalk (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Pablo Mari did well against Rapid Vienna last week, and he should get another chance to build his fitness. David Luiz could return alongside him, but it depends on whether Arteta plans to use him at the weekend. If he does, Shkodran Mustafi could start instead.

Sead Kolasinac and Cedric Soares should take up the full-back roles as usual.

Midfield

Arsenal vs Rapid, 3rd December, 2020. Ainsley Maitland Niles and Emilie Smith Rowe of Arsenal. Photo by Philipp Brem
Arsenal vs Rapid, 3rd December 2020. Ainsley Maitland Niles and Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal, both make our predicted Arsenal lineup for Dundalk. Photo by Philipp Brem

Mohamed Elneny will probably start in front of the back four, as he did against Rapid Vienna. Assuming Arsenal play a similar system to that match, he’ll have two midfielders starting ahead of him, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles likely to reprise his role.

I’m going to optimistically predict a start for Emile Smith Rowe in the third role. Alexandre Lacazette started both matches last week, suggesting he’s moved back into Arteta’s Premier League thoughts, opening up a spot for another midfielder.

What better time to give Smith Rowe a shot than in a game against Dundalk with the group already won?

Forwards

Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe runs with the ball on December 3, 2020. Pepe makes our predicted Arsenal lineup for Dundalk as he serves his Premier League suspension (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The wingers pretty much pick themselves at the moment. Nicolas Pepe and Reiss Nelson should both make the team on the basis that they’re not playing the Premier League games and they’re performing well in the Europa League.

Pepe still needs to serve the third match of his red card suspension this weekend, whilst Nelson didn’t even make the squad for Spurs.

Eddie Nketiah will likely start up front after his goal last week. Folarin Balogun is an option, but I think Arteta will opt for continuing to give Nketiah minutes.

Predicted Arsenal lineup for Dundalk

Predicted Arsenal lineup for Dundalk created with Chosen11.com
Predicted Arsenal lineup for Dundalk created with Chosen11.com