Bukayo Saka of Arsenal is not named in the Europa League Squad against Zurich FC

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On Thursday, Arsenal will face FC Zurich in Group A of the Europa League when they travel to Switzerland. Interestingly, Bukayo Saka was not named in the squad.

Since the Swiss squad was chosen from pot four in the competition, they should be the least talented team the Gunners will face in the group stage. 

Bukayo Saka, an England international, has not been named to the 24-man roster, but he is expected to play on the B list, along with a few other prominent absentees for the Gunners. 

Bukayo Saka against Manchester City

The only notable first-team option on the right wing is Bukayo Saka, who doesn’t seem to be registered for the match. That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t play some part in the game, though. 

The reason for this is that the young player may be put on a so-called “B list,” which enables younger players to join the team and assist them without occupying a squad spot. 

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Reuell Walters, a 17-year-old center back who made an impression for the team in the preseason, and highly regarded left back Lino Sousa won’t be competing in the Europa League group stage. 

Saka smiling after scoring a goal

Sousa and Walters are ineligible for the B list because they only joined the Gunners in January from West Bromwich Albion and less than two years ago, respectively. 

With the Europa League game scheduled to kick off at 17:45 on September 8, 2022, Arsenal will be looking to bounce back from their 3-1 loss to Manchester United on Sunday at Old Trafford. 

In line with that, Mikel Arteta has urged the club’s fans and football enthusiasts not to write off his team because of the battle that lies ahead. 

Saka celebrating after scoring

He will also be hopeful that his club bounces back after Sunday’s 3-1 setback to Manchester United, which was their first loss in the 2022-2023 Premier League campaign. 

Arteta must again combine his squad options with the challenge of midweek football and European nights, which are once again on his mind. 

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The roster for Arsenal’s encounter against Zurich has since been revealed on the official UEFA website, although there is one noteworthy omission, Bukayo Saka. He is however listed under the B-list.

Chelsea and Liverpool both appear to have taken advantage of the new B-list policy. Chelsea named Armando Broja in their B-list ahead of their Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb later tonight, 17:45. Also, Liverpool named the midfield partnership of Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones in their B-list.

Since Saka has a heavy workload and few choices on the right this season, it is unclear exactly what role he will play in the Europa League group stage game on Thursday. He might still play in a few games with the group, though. 

For the next Europa League group stage matches, Arteta’s squad includes Turner, Zinchenko, Vieira, Marquinhos, and Jesus.

Marquinhos has been added to the squad after the Gunners failed to sign a replacement for Nicolas Pepe in the transfer market and failed to complete a deal for Douglas Luiz on Deadline Day. 

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Despite their present injuries, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey both played last weekend league game; however, the latter is anticipated to remain sidelined for an extended period.

New names on Arsenal’s Europa League Squad include James Hillson and Matt Smith, who play for the Under-21 and Under-23 teams of the Gunners, respectively.

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