ARSENAL manager, Mikel Arteta says David Luiz will return to the squad for their Europa League match against Molde on Thursday after his injury proved less serious than feared. The Brazilian defender missed wins over Dundalk and Manchester United with a thigh injury suffered during a home defeat by Leicester on October 25.
Arteta initially feared that Luiz would be out for “a few weeks” but the 33-year-old has resumed training and is available for selection. The Arsenal boss said he would rotate his squad as he attempts to keep his players fit.
“You will see some changes again tomorrow,” he said on Wednesday. “We have to manage the minutes and exposure we give to the players. We have to think what we need now, as well as also looking ahead.”
Arsenal, top of Group B after winning both of their Europa League matches so far, face a Molde side who also have a perfect record.
The Gunners go into the game at the Emirates fresh from their first win at Old Trafford in the Premier League for 14 years.
But Arteta expects Norwegian club, Molde to provide a tough test.
Arsenal youngsters Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson should get another chance to shine when the Gunners take on Molde in the Europa League on Thursday.
The academy graduates all impressed during last week’s win over Dundalk and, after being left out of the team to play Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, should now return.
Manager Mikel Arteta is likely to make several changes from the side that won at Old Trafford, particularly in defence.
Alex Runarsson will hope to get a second start in goal, while Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac should come into the back-three.
The question is who plays in the heart of defence. David Luiz is fit again, but Arteta may opt to use Granit Xhaka there.
That would mean Dani Ceballos and Joe Willock could start in midfield, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Cedric Soares being used as wing-backs.
Arsenal squad from: Leno, Macey, Runarsson; Bellerin, Cedric, Gabriel, Holding, Kolasinac, Luiz, Mustafi, Tierney; Ceballos, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Willock, Xhaka; Aubameyang, Nelson, Nketiah, Lacazette, Pepe and Willian.
Doubts: Chambers (knee)
Injured: Mari (ankle) and Martinelli (knee)