Vorskla Poltava vs Arsenal Preview: Emery must ignore doubt as change of venue causes issues
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may have to watch this one from the sidelines. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Vorskla Poltava vs Arsenal Preview: Emery must ignore doubt as change of venue causes issues

A win would set up Arsenal on a good front to top the group. That said, expect a strong battle in Kiev. 

Kian Long

Arsenal will travel to Ukraine in order to play Vorskla in their penultimate match of the Europa League group stage.

When the two sides last met, it was Unai Emery's men who got the win. However, it was a cracker of a game. The scoreline finished 4-2 in favour of Arsenal. 

Arsenal sit on top of their Europa League group, three points ahead of Sporting CP. Should they win this game, then they will set themselves up nicely for a top place finish.

Neutral territory 

The main thing to point out is the uncertainty surrounding this game at the moment. For the time being, it is going ahead. Unfortunately for Vorskla, they will now be playing away from home. The game will take place in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. 

While there will still be a hostile reception, Arsenal fans will feel thankful that the match will take place at a neutral stadium. It will give their side a much better chance. 

Tottenham in mind

This game is merely a warmup for the game against Tottenham at the weekend. Emery will prioritise the North London derby over this game, which could result in a meltdown. 

Arsenal should have the resources to see through this match against Vorskla, but if they do manage to drop points, Emery's team selection will play a big part. 

The best option is to rest players in this match and risk losing than risk injuring any star players ahead of the Tottenham game. Still, this match against Vorskla could serve as an ideal warmup for the North London derby. 

Expect Nketiah to start

Emery has been hinting at starting the talented youngster Eddie Nketiah for a while now. Since the unfortunate injury to Danny Welbeck, Emery suggested that it was a chance for Nketiah to make the step up. 

In Arsenal's meeting with Bournemouth at the weekend, he came off the bench for a little while towards the end. It wasn't quite as emphatic as his debut against Norwich City last season, where he scored two goals to win the game, but it was a good sign. 

He could make a start against Vorskla, given the team news.

Youngsters set to feature

Welbeck and Nacho Monreal are the obvious absentees from this match, given their unfortunate injuries. Stephan Lichtsteiner could make the team, as he was pictured on the flight to Kiev.

Laurent Koscielny also trained ahead of this match. He is reportedly 'keen' to make his long-awaited comeback from injury, but Arsenal are bound to be cautious given the length and severity of his injury. 

There is expected to be a number of youngsters in contention. Nketiah, Charlie Gilmour, Tyreece John-Jules, Zech Medley, Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Bukayo Saka and Dominic Thompson have all travelled. 

Emery is expected to take the game seriously, so that should transcend to his starting XI.