Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta only has two fit recognized central defenders available for the Europa League Group B visit to Dundalk.
Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Magalhaes are his only options. David Luiz (thigh) joins Rob Holding (thigh), Pablo Mari (ankle) and Calum Chambers (knee) on the sidelines.
Co-defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and William Saliba are not available as they are not on the Europa League squad Willian is controversial after recovering from a light ankle blow that paused him over the weekend. Bukayo Saka is also available despite hobbling against Leicester.
Midfielder Reiss Nelson will be very keen to participate. Arteta reveal that the club wanted to loan him out this summer just for the striker to insist he want to stay and fight for his spot.
Gary Rogers is expected to return in goal for Dundalk replacing former Wolverhampton Wanderers youngster Aaron McCarey.
Dane Massey still has a hip injury while Nathan Oduwa could take the bench if he can shake off an Achilles tendon problem.
Dundalk at a glance
In the shelter: Filippo Giovagnoli wasn’t appointed until August after the Lilywhites split from Vinny Perth after they were eliminated from the Champions League against NK Celje.
European family tree: They made their European debut in the European Cup in 1963-64 and their best performance was in 1979-80 when they reached the last 16.
The picture: Third in the Irish league, they lost their first Europa League match against Molde last week and were beaten 1-0 by Waterford over the weekend.
Player to watch: Should Dundalk claim the scalp of the 2019 Europa League runner-up, Giovagnoli will have to threaten his team more than in recent weeks.
With just five goals in their last five games, Giovagnoli will be determined to see his team make a good report on themselves – and there is one member of his squad in particular who is eager to impress.
Oduwa, who has gone through the Tottenham Academy facility, is hoping to have recovered from his blow in order to perform.
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- Arsenal will meet Irish opponents for the first time in UEFA competition.
- Dundalk has played six times in European competition against English opponents, winning Liverpool in the Fairs Cup from 1969-70, Spurs in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1981-82 and again Liverpool in the European Cup in 1982-93. The only game in which they avoided defeat was against Spurs in 1981 with a 1-1 draw.
- The English teams have won 11 of their 12 home games against teams from the Republic of Ireland in European competition (D1), scoring 56 goals while conceding just five.
- On MD1, Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was only the sixth player since 2009/10 to score 20 goals in the UEFA Europa League. Aubameyang has scored 16 goals in their last 23 games.
- Dundalk have lost 15 of their last 18 games in UEFA European competition (W1 D2). The only win during this period was in September 2016 against Maccabi Tel Aviv in a Europa League game.
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