Ahead of Today’s clash Arsenal handed massive boost against BATE

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Arsenal travels to Belarus to face BATE Borisov on Thursday, in the first leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie.

Petr Cech is expected to line up at the Borisov Arena, Unai Emery was quizzed on the continued absence of Arsenal’s highest-earner Ozil.

He was not part of the travelling party to Minsk on Wednesday evening and neither was Juventus-bound Aaron Ramsey. Emery explained the decision was not a tactical one.

“The players we didn’t bring in the squad were because Aaron Ramsey did not train with us and Sokratis (Papastathopoulos) only started training yesterday and today – I don’t think it’s enough,” he said.

“Mesut is the same. (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang, after he was sick, trained on Monday, yesterday and today, and I think he’s OK for the match.”

While temperatures in Belarus hover around zero, Emery insists his side will have no excuses to get a positive result.

“We played against Vorskla in Kiev when it was below zero snowing,” he added.

“It’s not an excuse for us, the weather or the pitch. We play 90 minutes that are the same for them and for us.”

Team news

Arsenal have been boosted by the news that midfielder Granit Xhaka has returned to training and has made the squad.



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