Arsenal v Dundalk: David Luiz to miss Europa League tie for Gunners


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faces a defensive headache for Thursday’s Europa League tie against Dundalk with David Luiz missing through injury.

Luiz’s absence leaves the Gunners boss with the option of Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Magalhaes as the only two fit central defenders.

Mustafi, 28, replaced Luiz during Sunday’s Premier League defeat by Leicester City.

Arsenal host Dundalk at Emirates Stadium in Group B at 20:00 GMT.

German World Cup winner Mustafi, who is returning from a hamstring injury sustained in the FA Cup semi-final on 18 July, says no talks have begun in regards to extending his contract with the club.

“At the moment I am just happy to come back from injury, it was three long months – I was happy just to come back and be able to play again,” Mustafi said when asked about his contract situation.

“We haven’t been talking about anything so there isn’t anything I can tell you guys.”

Mustafi joined Arsenal from Valencia in 2016 and has played over 100 times for the north London side but will be out of contract in the summer.

The German defender added: “It is a huge club, that’s why for me if I could stay at Arsenal, of course it would mean a lot to me.”

Arteta could hand Reiss Nelson a taste of European football after the Spanish boss revealed the club looked to loan out the forward during the summer – but Nelson wanted to stay to fight for his place.

The 20-year-old started three of the first four games of Arteta’s reign as Arsenal manager but has so far only managed 81 minutes of first-team action this season.

“We had a few plans in mind with Reiss,” Arteta said. “One of them was to send him on loan to get more minutes because of the competition we have up front.

“The reality is he has been really good in training. He wants to stay here. He wants to fight for his place.

“Things change very quickly and if he starts playing and playing well, and he does what he can do, why not? He could start to play more games.”

Arsenal are hoping to continue their winning form in the Europa League against Irish opponents Dundalk, after beating Rapid Vienna 2-1 away from home in their opening Group B fixture.

Dundalk, who are third in the Irish Premier Division table, have reached the group stage of the competition for the second time in five years.

In 2016, the Lilywhites picked up four points in their opening two group games before losing the remaining four matches.

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 13Rúnarsson
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 20Mustafi
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 28Willock
  • 25Elneny
  • 34Xhaka
  • 24Nelson
  • 30Nketiah
  • 19Pépé

Substitutes

  • 1Leno
  • 2Bellerín
  • 3Tierney
  • 6dos Santos Magalhães
  • 7Saka
  • 8Ceballos
  • 9Lacazette
  • 12Willian
  • 14Aubameyang
  • 18Partey
  • 38Balogun
  • 44Hein

Dundalk

  • 1Rogers
  • 3Gartland
  • 44Boyle
  • 21Cleary
  • 8Mountney
  • 16Murray
  • 5Shields
  • 11McEleney
  • 23Dummigan
  • 9Hoban
  • 7Duffy

Substitutes

  • 2Gannon
  • 4Hoare
  • 6Flores
  • 10Sloggett
  • 15Leahy
  • 17Oduwa
  • 20McCarey
  • 22Colovic
  • 27Kelly
  • 29McMillan
  • 30Corcoran

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