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Should Unai Emery pick these three players against Chelsea?

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Two weeks today we will face off against Chelsea in the Europa League final all the way out in Azerbaijan and the conversations have already started about which team Arsenal should put out against the Blues.

Earlier today I spoke with a couple of friends about that exact subject and being passionate Gooners we spoke our minds and were not afraid to give our opinions to each other and as you may have guessed we had mixed views on whether Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Bernd Leno should play.

I will state up front that I am no to all three, I feel that Cech deserves to stay in goal and I am no more nervous with him between the sticks than Leno. I do not trust Ozil to play his best game and I do not think that Unai Emery will either and Mkhitaryan is simply not in form and I feel he would be a distraction due to politics.

However, both my friends thought I was mad to exclude Ozil, they feel he is a big game player and that he is made for this game against Chelsea, they are of the opinion that his creativity and passing will open up the Blues defence but I countered that Emery had him as an unused sub when we beat them at the Emirates and so why would he then all of a sudden have confidence in him in Baku in such an important game?


As for Mkhitaryan, it was a unanimous agreement he should not play based on form and neither of them cared who was in goal though did agree that Cech will play at his very best to put one over on his former club.

So, we all agreed Mkhitaryan should not play, passionately split on Ozil and not really bothered about Leno.

What do you think? Should we play Ozil or even Mkhitaryan and what about Leno, should he get the nod over Cech?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Six days to go – Latest Arsenal Europa League final news and updates

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There are now just six days to go before Arsenal and Chelsea face off in the Europa League final and a stream of reports are coming in thick and fast covering everything from team selection, fan issues, UEFA incompetence and so forth and we will now be doing a daily update of what is being reported.

Arsenal has sold just 3500 tickets out of their measly 6000 allocation with the rest being returned to UEFA. The ridiculous cost of getting to Baku has resulted in many fans being excluded from a major European trophy thanks to the utter incompetence of European footballs governing body.

Azerbaijan are playing the victim following Henrikh Mkhitaryan correct decision to not risk his safety. Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the UK has accused Mkhitaryan of “trying to make a political statement” by declining to visit a country that is effectively at war with his own nation.

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has made it clear the whole team wants to win the Europa League for Mkhitaryan following his decision to miss the final due to security concerns.

“It’s a shame for him not to be there, especially as he has often played on the way to the final, but our team has that in mind: We also want to win for Micki,” Mustafi told Kicker.

Arsenal fans have launched an online petition to have the Europa League final moved from Baku to Wembley Stadium. The reasoning behind the petition is the exclusion of Mkhitaryan making Baku an unfit location to hold a major European final

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also come out in support of Mkhitaryan saying “We know it is a big shame but we respect his decision. It is not easy for him to go there because of political problems. It is a big shame but now we have one more motivation to win”

Former Arsenal legend David Seaman has urged Unai Emery not to pick Petr Cech over Bernd Leno for the final because he feels that the German is simply the better player.

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David Seaman tells Unai Emery to copy Arsene Wenger with big Arsenal decision

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Cech has been the regular goalkeeper in the Europa League for Arsenal since losing his spot as the Premier League No 1 to Bernd Leno midway through the group stage.

The 37-year-old is set to retire after Wednesday’s match in Baku and reports claim he is set to become a sporting director at former club and final opponents Chelsea this summer.

That has led to many Arsenal fans claiming Cech should not play, though the former Czech Republic international has tweeted saying he is completely focused on the match ahead.

Seaman is surprised Cech’s proposed new job has been leaked but says he would have picked Leno in the final before hearing the news.

And Seaman referred to how former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger picked him ahead of Richard Wright in the 2002 FA Cup final despite not playing in previous rounds.

“Well it was announced and I was thinking ‘woah, who’s let this out? Who’s actually leaked this?’,” Seaman told talkSPORT.

“If it’s Chelsea then is it mind games? To make Arsenal think ‘is he going to be thinking about Chelsea when he’s playing?’

“Or maybe Arsenal have leaked it because they might not even be playing him, and use that as an excuse?

“It’s a strange one because there was a poll last night and I think it was about 60-40 wanted Leno to play.

“I know Cech has played all the games but in a final like that, especially against Chelsea.

“Arsenal need to win this game to get into the Champions League.

“For me, you play your strongest team.

“If that means Leno plays then that’s what I would do.

“I know Arsene Wenger did it with me, he did it to Richard Wright.

“He played all the FA Cup games and then played me in the final.”

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Arsenal on the verge of landing one of their top targets

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Arsenal is set to make a move for long term target Bournemouth star Ryan Fraser after the Europa League final according to reports in the media today.

Now, we have been hearing these sort of rumours for a while but what I like about this latest report is that it comes from the Independent and not the likes of the Daily Star or the Sun.

While I do not trust the high brow papers too much I certainly do more than the tabloids and I have to say that I do find it credible that Arsenal will be tabling a bid for the 25-year-old.

Fraser has been brilliant for Bournemouth this season racking up 14 assists in the Premier League with only Chelsea’s Eden Hazard doing better.

Manchester United was apparently interested in the Scottish international but the Independent is claiming that the Red Devils will not be pursuing the playmaker despite what some have been claiming.

Bournemouth wants £30 Million for Fraser, however, Arsenal are said to be confident that they can get the figure lowered because the player wants a move and only has a year left on his contract.

One final thought, Fraser has spoken previously of a move to Arsenal and the speculation about him being linked with a move to the Emirates.

“I am not going to lie, it is very nice,” Fraser said

“It means you are doing something right. They are a huge club, a massive club.

“When you see your name thrown around you always think to yourself that you are a Bournemouth player and you try to do well.

“I am not going to lie, you do feel good, especially when it’s a massive club.”

Of all the rumours currently going around this is the one that I do believe is real and I am now in a position where I would actually be surprised if we fail to get Fraser to put pen to paper.

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