Former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas is backing Anglo-Nigerian winger Bukayo Saka to play for the Gunners in their Europa League match against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday despite concerns over his fitness.
The Hale End Academy product suffered a minor knee injury while on international duty with the England U19 squad this month and was not considered for selection when Arsenal and Southampton played out a 2-2 draw last weekend.
Saka started the opening day win against Eintracht Frankfurt in September and also figured from the off on matchday four against Vitória Guimarães SC in Portugal.
Writing in his Sky Sports Europa League Predictions column, Nicholas said : ”I look at the schedule of what Emery normally does. Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Dani Ceballos and Joe Willock will play – I am not sure if Emile Smith Rowe will be fit.
”Arsenal are in a decent position in the group and will cement their place in the knockout stages, while easing off some of the pressure on Emery by the time this is done.
”I think the hardest part will be the crowd. I don’t think there will be one at all. It will only be if they want to see the younger guys”.
Unai Emery’s team need only avoid defeat against their German opponents at the Emirates Stadium in London to progress to the round of 32 of the Europa League.