Picking the Best Potential Arsenal Lineup to Face BATE Borisov on Thursday

​With Arsenal having already secured top spot in Group H of the UEFA Europa League with a game to spare, Arsene Wenger could further look to experiment as the Gunners hosts BATE Borisov at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night.


Having already fielded a second-string side in the early stages of the competition Wenger could give a number of youth players a rare chance to shine for the visit of the Belarusian side.


With BATE in a three-way battle for second place ahead of the last 32 in the new year, Arsenal are unlikely to offer any favours to the visitors, with both FC Koln and Crvena Zvezda on six points, knowing an unlikely win in North London could hand their opponents the final berth to the knockout stages.


Despite a weekend loss to Manchester United, the Gunners are likely to name wholesale changes for the clash.


Here is the best potential lineup Wenger could name to face BATE this Thursday.

Goalkeeper

  • Ospina
    Ospina13

​David Ospina continues to play deputy to Petr Cech and the Colombian will keep goal this Thursday night.

Defence

  • Debuchy
    Debuchy2
  • Mertesacker
    Mertesacker4
  • Holding
    Holding16

​With their first-choice back three rested, Wenger is again set to revert to his second-team back line. 


With Mathieu Debuchy normally preferring a wing-back role, the Frenchman will be deployed on the right of defence on Thursday, with Per Mertesacker in the heart of a back three. 


Rob Holding will play as left centre-back.

Midfield

  • Nelson
    Nelson61
  • Elneny
    Elneny35
  • Willock
    Willock69
  • Maitland-Niles
    Maitland-Niles30

​Both Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have been regular starters on the continent for Arsenal this season, and the flying duo will again play as wing-backs. 


Whilst Mohamed Elneny played at the back against Red Star, the Egyptian may push forward into midfield after an uncertain run of performances in defence. 


Alongside Elneny, Joe Willock has been blooded in the Europa League and should again make a case for future involvement.

Forwards

  • Walcott
    Walcott14
  • Giroud
    Giroud12
  • Wilshere
    Wilshere10

​With French national assistant coach Guy Stephan urging Olivier Giroud to leave the Gunners in search of more regular first-team minutes ahead of next summer's World Cup, Giroud has the chance to get some much-needed game time and goals under his belt, with the festive schedule likely to see the Frenchman's inclusion during a heavily-rotated schedule in the coming weeks. 


With Theo Walcott told he can leave North London for the 'right price' in January, this could be one of his last chances to impress in Arsenal colours and will play on the right in behind Giroud. 


Jack Wilshere is unlikely to depart in the new year however, as he presses for a starting Premier League berth and will play on the left hand side of a front three.