Unai Emery provides Arsenal team news vs Qarabag as Arsenal aim to secure seventh consecutive win in a row.
After a poor start to the campaign, Arsenal picked up form and haven’t dropped points since their loss against Chelsea in August.
Arsenal are currently on a six-game winning run in all competitions, which include four Premier League matches, a Europa League game and a knock-out fixture in the Carabao Cup. Unai Emery’s side are currently fifth in the Premier League with five wins in seven matches, and level on points with their city rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
The Gunners have now traveled to Azerbaijan to take on Qarabag in the Europa League. There have been two notable absentees in the Arsenal squad for the match – Aaron Ramsey and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
It was initially speculated that Ramsey’s absence may be related to his failed contract discussions at the club, but Unai Emery has clarified the reasons for their absence.
Arsenal team news vs Qarabag:
Unai Emery provided Arsenal’s team news for the match against Qarabag. He insisted that he respects Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s decision to opt out of the Europa League clash.
Well this was an interesting exchange of views between Aaron Ramsey’s agent and an Arsenal fan (just as well I saved it before they deleted the tweets)..
Does anyone believe it was Ramsey’s team who secretly pulled the plug? pic.twitter.com/0HuwqNc2vy
— Gilles (@GrimandiTweets) October 2, 2018
Mkhitaryan has not traveled with the squad, owing to political tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Armenian midfielder has previously missed a Europa League clash in Azerbaijan with Borussia Dortmund.
He also gave reasons for the absence of Aubameyang and Ramsey.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 2, 2018
“Aubameyang was sick, he can’t play. Aaron asked me if he could stay in London because he wife is pregnant and they are waiting,” said Emery.
Emery also confirmed that Bernd Leno will start the match.
“We want to finish first in the group and to win tomorrow with the best players to play.
“We are very happy with Leno and I want to give him the confidence to keep him playing. Martinez can play I’m sure, but tomorrow I will tell the players the first XI so today I want them all to think they will play tomorrow.”
— Urban Arsenal (@ArsenalUrban) October 3, 2018
On asked about Emile Smith-Row, the Spanish manager said, “Emile has been involved so we still have youth players involved – but we are taking the competition very seriously.”
Unai Emery: “Henrikh Mkhitaryan was ill at the beginning of the week, so he did not come, but Aaron Ramsey asked to stay in London, as his wife is pregnant and they are expecting a baby soon. As for the goalkeeper, Bernd Leno will most likely play tomorrow.” #AFC #Arsenal pic.twitter.com/KWqTiVwiym
— AFCPressWatch (@AFCPressWatch2) October 3, 2018
After the Europa League game, Arsenal will then travel to Fulham, after which the players will head out for the international break.