Advertisement Comment Arsenal’s Europa League fixtures Eintracht Frankfurt (a) Thursday 19 SeptemberStandard Liege (h) Thursday 3 OctoberVitoria SC (h) Thursday 24 OctoberVitoria SC (a) Wednesday 6 NovemberEintracht Frankfurt (h) Thursday 28 NovemberStandard Liege (a) Thursday 12 December Both Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin are on the comeback trail for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Central defence is an immediate concern following Sunday’s shambles at Vicarage Road. Neither Sokratis nor Luiz have particularly exuded confidence so far, the former committing a basic error leading to a goal against Watford and Luiz giving two penalties away already.AdvertisementAdvertisementNews that Rob Holding is fit again and in contention to play against Eintracht Frankfurt, therefore, is very welcome indeed. Holding managed to forge a place in Emery’s Premier League plans off the back of his performances in Europe last season and will be hoping to repeat the trick again.Otherwise, the likes of Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi will be hoping to catch the eye, with the former having played a part in a rare clean sheet against Newcastle United on the opening day.Deputy goalkeeper Emi Martinez will likely start in goal having been persuaded to stick around.MidfieldEmery has stuck rigidly to a four-man defence in Arsenal’s opening games but he has been more flexible with his midfield and attacking units. Already, Emery has experimented with four different systems – 4-2-3-1 (twice), 4-3-3, 4-3-1-2 and a similar 4-4-2 diamond.Of Emery’s midfield options, only Matteo Guendouzi has started all five games, with Dani Ceballos, Joe Willock, Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira and Mesut Ozil, all drifting in and out of the side. Of those six players, Willock and the curiously under-used Torreira, appear the most likely players to feature prominently in Europe.Depending on how Emery decides to shape his attack once Alexandre Lacazette is fit enough to link up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe, Ozil too could see most of his action coming in the Europa League. Playing all four in the Premier League would certainly be a brazen approach and Arsenal’s top-earner is the least nailed-on for his place. Advertisement Unai Emery will be looking to juggle competitions again this season (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery’s reputation as a Europa League specialist took a hit last season after he lost the first of his four final appearances in the competition.Throughout his debut campaign at Arsenal, Emery sought to juggle expectations in the Premier League and Europa League by simultaneously trying to construct a side capable of finishing in the top-four of the former and winning the latter.Ultimately, Arsenal fell just short of achieving either of those objectives, missing out on Champions League qualification by a single point in the league and courtesy of a heavy 4-1 defeat to Chelsea in an underwhelming evening in Baku.AdvertisementAdvertisementConsidering those near misses, perhaps Emery will be more inclined to focus on one more than the other this time around. According to The Athletic, Emery largely neglected advice from his staff to rotate his squad heavily for Europa League matches.ADVERTISEMENT Oliver Young-MylesThursday 19 Sep 2019 7:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link349Shares How Arsenal could line-up in the Europa League this seasonMore: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Nicolas Pepe is yet to score a goal for Arsenal since his £72m move from Lille (Picture: Getty)Given Aubameyang’s importance and the fact he turned 30 in June, Emery could be tempted to manage his minutes more carefully this season. There is no question that Aubameyang is Arsenal’s most important player, at present.Once Lacazette has resumed fitness, it makes sense to rotate the pair in Europe, but until then perhaps Pepe can be trialled in a central striker role. The Ivorian partnered Aubameyang at Anfield but is more accustomed to playing from the right flank.AdvertisementA return of 22 goals for Lille last season shows that Pepe, despite a barren start to his Arsenal career, can be a clinical finisher and perhaps that short-term move could get him firing. Youngsters Gabriel Martinelli and Tyreece John-Jules could also be in the frame.How Arsenal could line-up The Arsenal team Unai Emery should pick for the Europa League this season Reiss Nelson should feature prominently in Arsenal’s Europa League campaign (Picture: Getty)With Lacazette and Aubameyang representing Emery’s only established centre forward options, it seems likely he will use a system utilising wingers in order to give one of them a rest, such as a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1. Doing so should give opportunities to Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe.AdvertisementNelson started Arsenal’s first two games of the campaign before Pepe was unleashed against Liverpool and he may find that the majority of his starts from now on will come in Europe. Smith Rowe is similarly highly-rated but has had a difficult time with injuries of late, while Bukaya Sako is another with a big future.Perhaps, once Bellerin is fit or if Emery fancies trialling either Chambers or Mustafi at right-back, Maitland-Niles could get an opportunity to demonstrate his qualities in his natural box-to-box midfield role, as opposed to his now customary position in defence.AttackThere must be some regret at Arsenal over the decision to allow Nketiah to leave on loan, considering the 20-year-old has been in electric form in the Championship, netting four goals in six appearances for Leeds United.Nketiah’s absence has been exacerbated by Lacazette’s ankle injury which will rule him out until October. Currently, Aubameyang is the only fit and available striker in Emery’s ranks and considering the form he is in, keeping him fit is absolutely imperative.Somewhat surprisingly given his status as Arsenal’s main man up front, Aubameyang played 284 minutes more than Lacazette in last season’s Europa League, despite also amassing over 2,000 extra minutes in the Premier League. An issue that Emery has, though, is that a number of his fringe players last season have since moved on. Emery added five players to his first-team squad over the summer, but 13 players departed, including Europa League stalwarts Mohamed Elneny, Alex Iwobi and Nacho Monreal.Emery’s decision to allow highly-rated striker Eddie Nketiah join Leeds United on loan for the season has also been questioned, with Cohen Brammall – released this summer – saying: ‘I feel sorry for Ed because Danny [Welbeck] was injured for a lot of the season and Ed should have been given more chances.’Sunday’s disappointing draw against Watford showed that Arsenal have plenty of work to do if they are to achieve their top-four ambitions this season and with rivals Chelsea, Manchester United and Spurs, all undergoing varying degrees of regeneration, the league is Emery’s primary objective.That will mean the Europa League taking the back seat, but with a reduced squad and injury problems to contend with, what should Emery’s Europa League side team actually look like?DefenceEmery’s defence has had a familiar look to it so far this season with Bernd Leno, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sokratis Papastathopolous starting all five Premier League games, David Luiz starting four of them and Sead Kolasinac assuming the left-back role since Monreal’s departure.There hasn’t been much of an opportunity to rotate the full-backs due to injuries to Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney, but with both players now in full training, Emery will soon be able to alternate between Premier League and Europa League games.Bellerin and Tierney are the best full-backs in Arsenal’s squad but they will both need consistent minutes to get up to speed. It may transpire that Emery initially uses them in the more serene settings of the Europa League, before eventually switching them with Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac in the league.