Guendouzi, Sokratis, Torreira, Smith Rowe – Arsenal team news and expected XI vs Sporting CP

Arsenal will be looking to secure qualification for the knockout stages of the Europa League on Thursday night when they host Sporting CP at the Emirates.

Unai Emery’s side sit top of Group E with a 100 per cent record having won all three of their opening games so far this season.

A win on Thursday night will guarantee them passage through to the group stages with two games remaining and will allow Emery to rotate his squad massively for those remaining matches against Vorskla and Qarabag.

As has been the case so far in the competition, the Spaniard is expected to freshen things up on Thursday night from the starting XI that featured against Liverpool at the weekend, but it will still be a team that is packed full of international experience.

Teenager Emile Smith Rowe is expected to get another start, however, and will hoping to add to the goals he has scored against Qarabag and Blackpool this season.

Petr Cech will start in goal with Stephan Lichtsteiner expected to come on the right side of a defence that could see Rob Holding partner Shkodran Mustafi once again at centre-back, with Sokratis (ankle) to be assessed ahead of kick-off.

Nacho Monreal (hamstring) is also expected to miss out once again, with Emery having to decide whether to play Sead Kolasinac or Ainsley Maitland-Niles at left-back.

Matteo Guendouzi will come back into midfield having sat out the draw against Liverpool due to suspension and he could start alongside Lucas Torreira, with usual Europa League starter Mohamed Elneny out with a thigh problem.

Danny Welbeck, who scored the winner against Sporting CP in Lisbon a fortnight ago, will once again lead the front line – with Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan expected to line up on either side of the England international.

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