Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has warned his side will need a strong performance to defeat BATE Borisov in tonight’s Europa League clash.
No easy games
The squad selected by Wenger combines a mix of youth and experience, and they will need to be fully focused to defeat the Belarusians, who drew their opening fixture against Red Star Belgrade.
“We know (Bate’s strength), we watched them yesterday”, the boss said ahead of the game.
“They are a team with good quality, technically strong, so we will need a good performance to have a chance.”
Opportunity for young guns
After Monday’s victory over West Bromwich Albion, Wenger spoke about youngsters that could feature in the Europa League, and he is willing to give some their first chance, possibly alongside the likes of Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Per Mertesacker, tonight.
“To train with us, to travel with us, it’s the big time for such a young group," he said. "But it’s now up to them to resist those pressure situations.”
One of those who could feature is Charlie Gilmour, an 18-year-old Scottish midfielder who graduated from the Hale End academy in 2015. Wenger believes that he could also play as a defender.
Marcus McGuane is another who could feature. Speaking about the 18-year-old midfielder, Wenger has said he “is a defensive midfielder, and overall he can play as a wing-back or even a centre back.”
One final name that many Arsenal fans could see for the first time is Vlad Dragomir, who is also 18-years-old. On his skill set, Wenger has said that “he’s a No.10, Wilshere-style, left-footed, a creative player.”
“We have a tight schedule. It’s an important game, only one or two young players will start,” Wenger has said.
“It’s a good test for the young players. They will have to cope with that intimidating atmosphere. It will be very loud.”