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Arsenal vs Bodø / Glimt

Odegaard out, Vieira in? Arsenal team news, predicted XI and key man vs Bodo/Glimt

7:53 PM GMT+4 05/10/2022
Vieira Nketiah Tomiyasu
The Gunners are back in Europa League action on Thursday and GOAL takes a look at who could feature at the Emirates

Arsenal host Bodo/Glimt on Thursday night looking to take a firm hold on Group A. Victory at the Emirates will see them move above their Norwegian opponents to the top of the table, despite having played a game less.

The Gunners opened up their Europa League campaign with a win at FC Zurich on September 8, but then had their next match against PSV postponed due to the death of the Queen.

Ahead of Thursday night’s clash with Bodo, GOAL takes a look at some of the big pre-match talking points, including the latest Arsenal team news and the predicted starting XI.

  • 20220929 Emile Smith Rowe

    Arsenal team news

    Mikel Arteta is expected to shuffle his pack significantly following last weekend’s North London Derby success against Tottenham.

    The Arsenal boss will have one eye on Sunday’s crucial meeting with Liverpool, so will look to give many of his star names some time off.

    Likely just two of the players who started against Tottenham will line up to face Bodo, with Gabriel Magalhaes and Granit Xhaka the pair who could figure.

    Emile Smith Rowe (groin) and Mohamed Elneny (hamstring) are the only two players who are definitely out.

    Oleksandr Zinchenko could be omitted from the squad as a precaution. He was seen limping away from the stadium following the North London derby and could be given some extra rest by Mikel Arteta with the Liverpool game in mind.

    Cedric Soares comes back into contention having returned to full training on Tuesday following three weeks out.

  • Granit Xhaka Gabriel Jesus Arsenal 2022-23

    Talking points

    The big talking point ahead of the game is where Arteta can find time to rest Xhaka.

    While almost all of the team that started against Spurs are expected to get the night off, Xhaka will more than likely begin in midfield - just as he did against FC Zurich in the opening group stage game.

    That will mean he has started every single game of Arsenal’s season so far and - barring any injury issue - he will do so again when Liverpool visit the Emirates on Sunday.

    Long-term injuries to Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny have stretched Arteta’s options in midfield and that has forced the Spaniard to use the overworked Xhaka more than he would have liked.

    The Switzerland international does have excellent fitness levels and rarely gets sidelined, but Arteta will be well aware that he needs to tread carefully with the 30-year-old and not risk him picking up any sort of fatigue injury. 

    Arteta also has a decision to make over the fitness of Cedric Soares.

    He returned to full training on Tuesday after three weeks out and is in contention to play on Thursday night. Arteta now has to decide whether the right-back is ready to start.

    If he is, that could allow the Gunners boss to rest Gabriel Magalhaes, as Cedric could line up on the right side of the back four, with Takehiro Tomiyasu moving alongside Rob Holding at centre-back.

  • 20221001 Mikel Arteta

    What has the manager said?

    Speaking ahead of the game, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said the Europa League will give Reiss Nelson the opportunity to stake his claim for some regular game time.

    The winger spent last season on loan with Feyenoord and hasn't featured in the current campaign due to his injury.

    He is now fully fit, however, and is expected to get some game time against Bodo.

    "After the spell he had last year on loan, we wanted him back to see if there were any changes [with him]," Arteta said. "The potential is there. We always hang in there [with Nelson] because we see something really special.

    "Now he is going to have an opportunity. He's fully fit and ready to play. He just needs minutes.

    "The way he has matured in the last year or so has been really impressive, now he needs to do it on the pitch."

  • Eddie Nketiah Arsenal Zurich 2022-23

    Key man

    The sensational form of Gabriel Jesus has forced Eddie Nketiah to feed off scraps so far in the Premier League.

    Nketiah has featured in every single league game so far this season, but the longest he has been on the pitch is 29 minutes.

    So he will be desperate to make an impression from the start against Bodo - just as he did when he led the line away at FC Zurich in the opening group stage game.

    The 23-year-old set up the opening goal for Marquinhos in that one and then scored the winner in the 2-1 success.

    He will be out to replicate that sort of form on Thursday night and if he can, he will go a long way to firing Arteta’s side to the victory they need.

  • Fabio Vieira Arsenal 2022-23

    Arsenal predicted XI

    4-3-3: Turner; Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Vieira, Lokonga, Xhaka; Marquinhos, Nketiah, Nelson