One of Gabriel Martinelli or Bukayo Saka is “probably going to start” in Arsenal’s Europa League clash with PSV Eindhoven this evening.
That is according to journalist Charles Watts, who was speaking on his YouTube channel.
With summer signing Marquinhos missing training ahead of the group stage clash, Mikel Arteta may have to dip into his first-team options for this evening’s game in the Netherlands instead of giving the young Brazilian more minutes.
Reiss Nelson has made three appearances in Europe’s second-tier continental competition so far this season, suggesting that he could be in line to start on one side of the attack this evening.
And Watts is backing one of Martinelli or Saka to be in the Gunners’ starting lineup for this evening’s clash in a fixture in which the north London side could cement top place in the group and secure their passage to the last 16 of the competition.
He said: “If Marquinhos isn’t available, then you look at probably one of either Saka or Martinelli is going to get the start on Thursday night – whether it be Saka on the right, Reiss Nelson on the left; or you bring in Reiss Nelson, play him over on the right and then you play Martinelli on the left.
“That’s something that Mikel’s going to have to decide.
“But I think one of those two players is probably going to start.”
TIF Thoughts on Watts’ comments…
Whilst we think that Arsenal fans and Arteta will be frustrated that they may be forced into playing one of Martinelli or Saka ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest, we do think that adding one of the two to the side makes their chances of a result significantly greater.
There’s a good chance that the Spaniard will go strong in tonight’s European clash with the Gunners preparing for arguably their toughest fixture of the group, with a draw securing the club’s progression to the last 16 of the competition, and therefore meaning that Arteta can completely rotate his squad for next week’s visit of FC Zürich.
Therefore, whilst Marquinhos was likely in line to be given a runout in tonight’s fixture, as long as one of Martinelli or Saka don’t pick up an injury this evening, we think today’s team news is far from a disaster.