The Arsenal squad flew out to Portugal this afternoon ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s UEFA Europa League clash with Vitoria Guimaraes.
Our game has been moved from the usual Thursday to Wednesday, with an earlier kickoff time of 15:50 GMT. The reason for the game being moved forward a day is for traffic congestion and safety reasons, because Vitoria’s local rivals, Sporting Braga, are at home to Besiktas on Thursday. The earlier kickoff time is for broadcasting reasons as our game cannot overlap any Champions League ties, which kickoff at 17:55 and 20:00.
The players trained at London Colney this morning before departing. Granit Xhaka was not part of the squad, having not featured in either of our last two matches following his bust-up with fans recently.
Unai Emery is widely expected to rotate the squad from that which drew 1-1 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, just as he has done successfully in our previous three Europa League games this season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and David Luiz have both been given a breather by not travelling as part of the squad.
18-year-old Bukayo Saka is expected to be recalled to the starting lineup and has subsequently been included in the travelling squad The winger didn’t start against Wolves at the weekend so we expect him to play tomorrow.
Gabriel Martinelli, Rob Holding and Emi Martinez have all travelled and should all be recalled to the starting XI, along with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Joe Willock.
Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns since the weekend and Emery has had a fully fit squad to choose from for this game as Reiss Nelson is back after recovering from a knee injury.
The 18-man Arsenal squad, as confirmed by the club is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Emi Martinez
Defenders: Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac
Midfielders: Dani Ceballos, Lucas Torreira, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, Matteo Guendouzi, Bukayo Saka
Forwards: Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli