Arsenal FC reconvene their European campaign in the UEFA Europa League, a competition where they have very favorable odds of winning it all.
Out of the entire field of 32, only arch-rival Chelsea is being backed with better odds of claiming the trophy, and with it an automatic berth in next season’s Champions League.
The north London side has plenty of obstacles to overcome toward reaching that glory though.
They have a growing list of short term injuries, to go along with their collection of long term absentees. Here’s where we stand heading into the Thursday night clash at Bate Borisov.
Midfielder Mesut Ozil and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both missed the weekend win over Huddersfield Town due to illness, but the pair should both be in contention to feature in the starting lineup versus the Belarus champions.
Midfielder Aaron Ramsey, whose move to Juventus was just made official yesterday, has a knee issue that makes him a doubt.
The knee problem is regarded to be minor, but manager Unai Emery may not risk him. Likewise for fellow midfielder Granit Xhaka, who could use some rest and recovery time to deal with his groin issue.
Elsewhere defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is still at least a couple weeks away. Meanwhile Hector Bellerin, ?Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck have all been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Arsenal FC at Bate Borisov UEFA Europa League Round of 32 FYIs
Kickoff: Thursday, February 14, 5:55pm, Borisov Arena