Manager Unai Emery has announced that Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Sokratis Papastathopoulos will be unavailable for Arsenal’s trip to FC BATE Borisov.
After finishing top of Group E, Arsenal’s Europa League campaign will resume on Thursday for the first leg of their Round of 32 tie against Belarusian champions BATE.
Although it turns out that Ozil will again be absent for Arsenal after missing last Saturday’s 2-1 win at Huddersfield Town in the Premier League due to an illness.
The 30-year-old playmaker, who has only managed a single start in 2019, will not be risked by Emery this week.
Ramsey, whose free transfer to Juventus for next season was finally confirmed on Monday after months of speculation, is out with a knee problem.
Sokratis, who joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for a reported £17.6m deal last summer, has returned to full training after an ankle injury, but will not be risked either by Emery.
However, the Spaniard is hopeful that his top scorer in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be available for selection in the game at Belarus.
The Gabon caption has returned to full training after recovering from an illness that saw him miss the game at Huddersfield.
“We are here with the players who I think are OK to play,” said Emery, according to Football London.
“The players not in the squad is because Ramsey has not trained with us, Sokratis has started to train but not enough, Mesut is the same.
“Aubameyang started Monday and I think he is OK for the match.”
Barcelona loanee Denis Suarez has been included in the 18-man squad for the BATE match, but will likely remain on the bench for the time being at Arsenal.
“I am thinking about the best performance for tomorrow. I think his adaptation is good, but he needs time,” said Emery on Suarez.
“He is OK to start, but he can also be on the bench. He needs to earn, little by little. To get minutes.”
Meanwhile, Emery intends to treat BATE carefully on Thursday as he feels they are capable of causing an upset against Arsenal.
“Last year Arsenal won here 4-2,” added Emery.
“This year when they played in the groups, for example against Chelsea, they lost 1-0 but had chances to score and draw.
“Now they are not in competition in the league, but they prepared in pre-season. It’s a very organised team. Their motivation I think is going to be very high.
“I respect them.”
The BATE and Arsenal Europa League match will take place at the Borisov Arena with kick-off set for 6:55 PM (CET).
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 13, 2019