Our Europa League campaign begins with a match against an opponent not well known in European circles, but most of the talk is regarding the possible selection from Unai Emery.

FC Vorskla are the opponents who will line up in the first game of our group stage, and the Ukrainians are tasting the Europa League for the first time since 2011-12, and finished third behind Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk last season.

They will face a much changed Arsenal side by the sounds of Unai Emery in his press conference, although he maintains that the side he chooses will still have a strong first team flavour.

In attack, Danny Welbeck could get his first start of the season, but it will be in defence that we could see the most changes. Stephan Lichtsteiner appeared alongside Unai Emery for his press conference, so the Swiss defender should line up in defence - but could it be at left-back?

With Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles both still injured, we have no other option in this position other than Nacho Monreal - who has played the last four and Emery would no doubt want to rotate him.

We could also see Rob Holding and Konstandinos Mavropanos in the centre of defence, which would make our defence nigh-on unrecognisable from the so-far established defence we have seen in the Premier League.

In midfield, our Uruguayan dynamo Lucas Torreira could start the game, and Mohamed Elneny could be his partner, giving us a solid foundation to launch attacks. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi could be supporting Welbeck in attack, but the point is - we clearly have a fair amount of depth.

One of the most talked about changes is the possible debut of German keeper Bernd Leno. Petr Cech has worn the gloves for all of our Premier League games, so we have all been waiting patiently for Leno to make his first team bow - but no one has been more patient than the German himself. A decent display could put more pressure on Cech, who is desperately trying to improve his footwork in order to keep the gloves and fall in line with Emery’s gameplan.

The Europa League represents a great chance for some excitement in the season, and probably one of our better chances for glory. Unai Emery has a fantastic pedigree in this competition and this gives him the perfect standpoint to pick who plays and judge who needs to be rotated. He has done it successfully three times, so our squad depth will be tested here.

A goal-laden win will be expected by some, given the stature of opponent, and a handsome win would be a great confidence booster, but a home game in the group stage is simply about winning. We could well get this though, as the fringe players are being given an opportunity to send a timely reminder to Emery about their first team credentials. Alex Iwobi, Leno, Torreira, Holding and Lichtsteiner especially will be keen to show they should be playing every week.

FC Vorskla Poltava may not be a name we are familiar with, but they have nothing to lose and this trip is amongst the biggest the club has EVER made. They will be pumped for this, but anything other than a win would be a real shock.

Time for Welbeck, Leno et al to shine.


Predicted Lineup - Leno, Bellerin, Mavropanos, Holding, Lichtsteiner, Torreira, Elneny, Xhaka, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck


Predicted Scoreline - 4-1 to The Arsenal