Arsenal defenders Monreal and Sokratis face fitness tests before Sporting CP visit

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Unai Emery could have a selection dilemma when the Gunners face the Portuguese giants in the Europa League

Arsenal defenders Nacho Monreal and Sokratis Papastathopoulos will both undergo late fitness tests before the Europa League clash with Sporting CP.

Spanish full-back Monreal has been absent for the last five games due to a hamstring problem, though Sead Kolasinac did return for the weekend draw against Liverpool.

An ankle problem has meanwhile prevented Greek defender Sokratis from playing since the 1-0 win in Lisbon two weeks ago - though he has not appeared in the Gunners' last five Premier League matches.

However, both players in training on Wednesday but it remains to be seen whether they will overcome their recent injury problems to start the game.

Elsewhere, Laurent Koscielny is preparing to return to full training having not played this term due to an Achilles problem.

Midfielder Mohamed Elneny is also out with a thigh problem but could resume training next week, according to the club.

Arsenal will secure progress to the round-of-32 on Thursday if they are able to better Vorskla Poltava's result against Qarabag.

Though winning Europe's second tier club competition will secure passage into next season's Champions League, manager Unai Emery says tomorrow's game represents more than just a chance to confirm a place in the knock-out stage.

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"Our first focus is on one way to win the [Europa League] title and the other way to qualify for the Champions League next year," he explained. "The second focus is our work. 

"Continuing to improve, taking confidence, and above all I want to continue with the same spirit at The Emirates with our supporters like the last matches.

"Tomorrow is another good test for us and in these two ways that I am speaking."

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