Unai Emery confirmed that full-backs Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are likely to return for Arsenal against Standard Liege.
Arsenal‘s Europa League campaign continues at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night, with the Spanish tactician eager to make the most of the opportunity to get players the minutes they need.
Summer signing Tierney has been restricted to a sole appearance in the Carabao Cup so far – and was left out of Scotland’s squad at Arsenal’s request – but Emery confirmed at his press conference prior to the game that he would be able to give the defender gametime.
“He needs time, confidence, training and playing. Tomorrow is a good opportunity, he is ready to play.
“He will take minutes and confidence. He will be able with us to show his progress.
“Hector Bellerin is the same but with a small difference. His injury was more time, after a long time, nine months, we need first to play the 15 minutes he played last week. Perfect, the first minutes. He played in the U23s to take confidence, to do actions on the pitch to feel good, to repeat them at a higher level.
“For tomorrow we are thinking – it depends on the training we are going to do now – how he is feeling but if he is feeling well tomorrow he is going to play.”
Another player who has not featured much this season, but Emery is yet to make a decision on, is Mesut Ozil.
“We are going to train then and after we are going to decide.
“I am going to decide the best first XI and in the squad also the best who can help us.”
Emery is keen to ensure that the competition is taken seriously by Arsenal, with the coach having won it three times with Sevilla.
“I want to feel that not me loves this competition, that everybody loves it. It’s another competition this season where we want to do something important. It’s one title, one way to the Champions League.
“We are going to play very good matches, we started against Eintracht Frankfurt, a great team, we won playing a very good match away. Some young players are getting chances to show how they can help us. The response was amazing, one example is Bukayo [Saka].
“Each match is giving us a lot of information. We are going to play tomorrow against Standard Liege, they are second in their domestic competition, we respect them a lot. It’s one team that are playing really very good with the ball, the combinations. They are very organised with a good spirit, doing big pressing and playing with a big combination.
“It’s going to be a good match and hopefully we can win, showing a good performance. In 90 minutes we need to respect them.”
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