After tasting yet another defeat in the Premier League, Arsenal return to the more welcome comforts of European football when they finish off the Europa League group stages against Dundalk on Thursday night.
The Gunners slid to a hugely disappointing 2-0 loss to north London rivals Tottenham on Sunday afternoon, and Mikel Arteta will no doubt be hoping that whatever their struggles in the top-flight are, they can continue their perfect run in Europe.
Arteta’s men have won every single game in the group and have already clinched top spot and qualification into the knock-out rounds, so Thursday evening will surely be the perfect time for him to experiment.
And below is a look at just how Arsenal might line up for the trip to Ireland.
In goal, Runar Runarsson will surely come back in to give Bernd Leno a rest, whilst the likes of Cedric, David Luiz, Calum Chambers and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are also likely to return and complete a whole sweep of changes to the Gunners’ back-line – Sead Kolasinac has been ruled out.
Even without the injury concern to Thomas Partey, it would have been hugely surprisingly if the Ghanaian were to feature in a meaningless contest, so Joe Willock, Dani Ceballos and Mohamed Elneny may form the central midfield trio. Granit Xhaka’s woeful performance against Spurs which drew a lot of criticism will surely see the 28-year-old drop out of contention too.
Ahead of them, Nicolas Pepe and Emile Smith Rowe should also start (Reiss Nelson having seemingly been ruled out according to journalist Chris Wheatley), whilst Arteta must surely be tempted to give Folarin Balogun his first competitive start in an Arsenal shirt too.
Predicted XI: Runarsson; Cedric, Luiz, Chambers, Maitland-Niles; Elneny, Willock, Ceballos; Pepe, Smith Rowe, Balogun.