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Emery must start Willock and bench Mkhitaryan

Emery must start Willock and bench Mkhitaryan - Matchday
Arsenal will still have their sights set on securing a top four spot in the current campaign, but they’ll need to step their game up if they are to do so as Manchester United currently occupy fourth place.

The Gunners will turn their attention towards the Europa League later on today as they’ll take on BATE Borisov in the first leg of their round of 32 tie. Indeed, the opposition currently sit at the top of the Belarusian Premier League and they won their last two group matches, so they’ll be confident that they can cause an upset.

Unai Emery has a decision to make prior to kick-off later on today, with a number of players possibly returning from injury and youth players raring to go.

With that in mind, this is the decision Emery has to make to sink BATE…


Joe Willock played a part in two games for the Gunners during the group stages, scoring one goal against Vorskla.

The youngster has been hugely impressive during his limited amount of appearances for Arsenal in the current campaign, as he continues to show great maturity levels and often pops up with a goal.

So, with a tricky trip to Belarus coming up later on today, it’s vital that Emery decides to start Willock as his pace and energy in the middle of midfield will work wonders in both defensive and attacking areas.


Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is valued at £27 million (by Transfermarkt), has been fairly impressive in the Europa League up until this point as he’s managed to produce two assists, but he hasn’t quite done enough to warrant a permanent place in recent times.

Indeed, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back for today’s game, it makes sense for Emery to bench the Armenian in order to make room for the Gabon international’s quality and firepower.

Willock can make up for the creativity levels that will be missing if Mkhitaryan drops to the bench, so things will all work out perfectly for Arsenal if Emery makes the right decision.

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Article title: Emery must start Willock and bench Mkhitaryan

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