Arsenal vs Qarabag preview: Unai Emery wants win despite topping group
Arsenal have already qualified for the knockout rounds of the Europa League
Last Updated: 13/12/18 6:50pm
Unai Emery is set to make a host of changes to his Arsenal side for Thursday's final Europa League group game at home to Qarabag (kick-off 8pm).
The Azerbaijani side arrive at the Emirates currently bottom of the group, while the Gunners already have secured top spot ahead of Sporting Lisbon.
Emery is set to hand a number of younger players the chance to impress and rest his first-team regulars with an important Premier League trip to Southampton, live on Super Sunday, on the horizon.
But the Spaniard does not want complacency from his side - who are unbeaten in the competition so far - saying: "Our first aim in this competition we have done.
"To be first in the group, but we respect this competition and Qarabag and tomorrow our objective is to win and we are going to give players chances to take responsibility."
One player who will feature for Arsenal on Thursday is Laurent Koscielny, who has been out of action since May with an Achilles injury.
Emery added: "We are going to use tomorrow some different players coming from the U23s and in our planning is to start playing with Laurent Koscielny.
"We have some players with injuries at centre-back - we are going to decide after tomorrow's match (whether Sead Kolasinac plays against Southampton). We are going to see if he can play 90 minutes, we can use another player in this position like Nacho Monreal, Stephan Lichtsteiner."
Mesut Ozil is likely to be involved in some manner following a back problem while Aaron Ramsey (ankle) is also back - but Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin), Rob Holding (knee), Danny Welbeck (ankle) and Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) will miss out.
Striker Innocent Emeghara is out with a long-term injury for Qarabag, who otherwise have a full squad to choose from.
Arsenal won the reverse fixture against Qarabag 3-0 on MD2, scoring with three of their four shots on target.
Qarabag have lost all five of their meetings with English sides in all competitions, by an aggregate score of 17-1.
Qarabag have lost six of their last seven games in the UEFA Europa League (W1), however that lone victory did come in their most recent away trip (1-0 v Vorskla Poltava).
Arsenal have used 26 different players in the UEFA Europa League this season in the opening five matchdays - more than any other team.
Arsenal midfielder Emile Smith-Rowe has scored in two of his last three appearances in the UEFA Europe League, with the first of those coming in the reverse meeting against FK Qarabag in October.
Who knows what team Unai Emery will play but it's important to keep this unbeaten run going. He may well play Alexandre Lacazette just to give him a game and Granit Xhaka might come back in.
I'd like him to play young Eddie Nketiah again and all the young boys should really play and be given a chance - they played last time and I think Emery will play the kids - and the kids will win this.
Charlie predicts: Arsenal to win 2-0 and Eddie Nketiah to score twice (Sky Bet odds HERE)