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Arsenal risk playing a weakened side against FC Zurich in a Europa League clash at their peril as it could mean facing Barcelona, ​​Juventus, Sevilla or Ajax


Mikel Arteta knows he might be forced to name a strong starting XI against FC Zurich to avoid the risk of finishing second in his group in the Europa League.

The Gunners could have secured top spot in Group A away to PSV last week but were beaten 2-0 away to Holland by the Eredivisie giants.

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could name a strong squad against FC Zurich in the Europa League on Thursday

And if PSV beat Bodo / Glimt on Thursday and Arsenal failed to win against FC Zurich, the North Londoners would be overtaken by Ruud van Nistelrooy’s men.

If that were to happen, then Arsenal would advance to the knockout stage and fail to skip a round in the round of 16.

Arsenal would then run the risk of being drawn against a European power like Barcelona or Juventus.

Ajax and Sevilla could also prove to be tricky links with the clubs excluded from the Champions League.

But Arteta knows he needs to keep an eye out on Sunday when his side take on London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Failing to beat Chelsea away for a third consecutive campaign could see Manchester City return to the top of the Premier League table if they overtake Fulham.


The Blues currently trail Arsenal by ten points, and Arteta will be desperate to see that gap not reduced.

In a double boost for Arsenal ahead of tomorrow night’s game, Bukayo Saka and Oleksandr Zinchenko have returned to full training.

But it remains to be seen whether they will be risky for the clash, with Saka more likely to feature against Chelsea.

Granit Xhaka is absent from FC Zurich’s draw due to suspension. Emile Smith Rowe and United States goalkeeper Matt Turner Arsenal are the only injury concerns.

Arsenal risk playing a weakened side against FC Zurich in a Europa League clash at their peril as it could mean facing Barcelona, ​​Juventus, Sevilla or Ajax

Gabriel Jesus could be tasked with leading the line for Arsenal against FC Zurich

Here’s how talkSPORT predicts Arsenal could line up at the Emirates against the Swiss side.

With Turner not expected to feature, Aaron Ramsdale will likely keep his place between the sticks.

Takehiro Tomiyasu could then replace Ben White at right-back, with Kieran Tierney to start on the opposite side with Zinchenko not to be risked.

Rob Holding could then start in place of William Saliba to join forces with Gabriel Magalhaes at the heart of the defence.

Albert Sambi Lokonga could then be deployed as a defensive midfielder ahead of Thomas Partey.

Fabio Vieira is set to replace Xhaka, where he and Martin Odegaard would play as two free-roaming No8s.

After his two-goal cameo from the bench in Sunday’s 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest, Reiss Nelson could slot in on the right wing ahead of Saka.

Much like in the home clash against PSV a fortnight ago, Eddie Nketiah could start on the left wing against Gabriel Martinelli, with Gabriel Jesus tasked with leading the line.

Arsenal risk playing a weakened side against FC Zurich in a Europa League clash at their peril as it could mean facing Barcelona, ​​Juventus, Sevilla or Ajax

This is another way the Gunners could start against their Swiss opponents in the Emirates

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