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Arsenal XI vs Benfica: Confirmed team news and starting lineup

The game is the first of a busy 11-day stretch for Arsenal that includes meetings with Leicester, Manchester City and the second leg of their last-32 tie against the Portuguese giants.

As a result, Arteta was expected to rotate his squad during the run of matches to ensure that players stay fresh.

However, he has opted for the same XI tonight as the one that beat Leeds 4-2 on Sunday.

Left-back Kieran Tierney is back fit, but he has to settle for a place on the bench.

Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka start in midfield again as Thomas Partey is not fit.

Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe looked primed to come in after being rested on Sunday, but Arteta sticks with Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard as the attacking trio behind captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the Real Madrid loanee making his European debut for Arsenal.

Arsenal XI: Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Cedric; Ceballos, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang

Subs: Ryan, Hein, Chambers, Holding, Pablo Mari, Tierney, Elneny, Willian, Pepe, Martinelli, Lacazette, Nketiah

Thursday 8.00pm GMT, BT Sport

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Injured: Partey (hamstring)


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