Arsenal take on Newcastle United in the Premier League this weekend and the outcome of this match could prove useless for the Gunners in the grander scheme of things.
The North London side are 10th on the league table right now and a chance of a top-four finish has well and truly evaporated. Now, the only way they can get back into the Champions League is if they can win the Europa League this time around.
And that is why manager Mikel Arteta has not ruled out making a plethora of substitutions this Sunday when his side take on the Magpies at St James’ Park.
“Let’s see who is available,” the manager said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“We had a really demanding game again, the boys have had so many minutes so we will assess them tomorrow in the training session and see how everyone is, and try to get the line-up right.
“The Premier League is the competition where it is not in our hands to achieve what we wanted to do, because there are other teams in front of us.
“The only thing we can control is our performances and results and this is our main focus. Then we know that the semi-final is the crucial moment of the season.”
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Arsenal have been pushed against the wall by that 2-1 loss to Villarreal on Thursday but the crucial away goal means they are still in with a chance to make it to the finals.
Newcastle United more or less have also secured a stay in the top flight for one more season so Steve Bruce will also want to take things a bit lightly this weekend. Mikel Arteta will have players like Lacazette and Kieran Tierney coming back from injuries on Sunday but we doubt if the manager will use them or not.
Youngsters such as Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli are expected to start against Newcastle United while key first-team starters like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe should be watching from the bench.
The Gunners clearly do not have much to gain from this tie and the last thing Arteta would want is to take a fatigued side into the Europa League semi-final just cause of pride.