Europa League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Celtic, Rangers team news and TV details
Goalkeeper Bernd Leno will make his Arsenal debut against Vorskla Poltava
Four British teams will start their Europa League campaigns tonight in the first round of group matches.
Arsenal, who reached last season’s Europa League semi-finals, are at home to Ukrainian team Vorskla Poltava while fellow Premier League side Chelsea travel to Greece to face PAOK Salonika.
Glasgow rivals Celtic and Rangers are also in action today. Scottish champions Celtic play at home against Norway’s Rosenborg and Rangers are away at Spanish side Villarreal.
Villarreal vs. Rangers
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is confident that his team can qualify for the Europa League knockout stages, the BBC reports.
The Glasgow side are in group G with Spartak Moscow, Rapid Vienna and Villarreal, who they will face today in Spain.
“We are the underdogs in the group, but in the dressing room we have a quiet confidence and belief we can make it out of the group,” said Gerrard. “We are not here to make the numbers up.”
Striker Alfredo Morelos is suspended so Kyle Lafferty will start for Rangers. Defender Jon Flanagan is also banned while new signing Gareth McAuley is out injured.
The group G clash kicks off at 5.55pm (UK time) and is live on BT Sport 3.
PAOK Salonika vs. Chelsea
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has selected a strong line up for the trip to Greece with Brazilian midfielder William named as captain. Alvaro Morata starts in attack with Pedro, Willian and Ross Barkley supporting from midfielder.
N’Golo Kante and Jorginho will sit in front of a back four consisting of Davide Zappacosta, Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso. Summer signing Kepa Arrizabalaga starts in goal.
Cesc Fabregas starts on the bench as does Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Olivier Giroud and Gary Cahill.
The group L clash kicks off at 5.55pm and is live on BT Sport 2.
Chelsea starting XI
- Kepa; Zappacosta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian (captain), Morata, Pedro Subs: Caballero, Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Giroud, Cahill, Azpilicueta
Celtic vs. Rosenborg
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that defender Kristoffer Ajer could miss the opening Europa League match because of a virus.
According to the BBC defender Jozo Simunovic is also out with a knee injury so Jack Hendry could be named in Rodgers’s starting line-up.
Midfielder Nir Bitton is a doubt, says the Daily Express, but Olivier Ntcham is available to start despite facing a domestic suspension. Ntcham is likely to feature alongside captain Scott Brown in Celtic’s midfield.
The group B clash kicks off at 8pm and is live on BT Sport 3.
Arsenal vs. Vorskla Poltava
Gunners head coach Unai Emery has confirmed that summer signing Bernd Leno will start in goal in place of Petr Cech at the Emirates tonight.
German keeper Leno, 26, is yet to make his debut since joining from Bayer Leverkusen for £19.2m in June.
Emery, who has picked Cech for the opening five Premier League matches, told Sky Sports: “Bernd Leno is going to play on Thursday. We need to give him the chances, 90 minutes.”
The Daily Mirror reports that Emery will make a number of changes to his side that will face the Ukrainians. Mohamed Elneny, Danny Welbeck and Stephan Lichtsteiner are “all pushing for rare outings” says the Mirror.
The group E clash kicks off at 8pm and is live on BT Sport 2.
Tonight’s Europa League fixtures
- AEK Larnaca vs. Zurich
- Ludogorets vs. Bayer Leverkusen
- Celtic vs. Rosenborg (live on BT Sport 3)
- RB Leipzig vs. Red Bull Salzburg
- FC Copenhagen vs. Zenit St Petersburg
- Slavia Prague vs. Bordeaux
- Dinamo Zagreb vs. Fenerbahçe
- Spartak Trnava vs. Anderlecht
- Arsenal vs. Vorskla Poltava (live on BT Sport 2)
- Sporting Lisbon vs. FK Qarabag
- F91 Dudelange vs. AC Milan
- Olympiakos vs. Real Betis
- Rapid Vienna vs. Spartak Moscow (5.55pm)
- Villarreal vs. Rangers (5.55pm, live on BT Sport 3)
- Lazio vs. Apollon Limassol (5.55pm)
- Marseille vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (5.55pm)
- Besiktas vs. Sarpsborg 08 (5.55pm)
- Genk vs. Malmo (5.55pm)
- Akhisarspor vs. FK Krasnodar (5.55pm)
- Sevilla vs. Standard Liege (5.55pm)
- Dynamo Kiev vs. FC Astana (5.55pm)
- Rennes vs. FK Jablonec (5.55pm)
- MOL Vidi vs. BATE Borisov (5.55pm)
- PAOK Salonika vs. Chelsea (5.55pm, live on BT Sport 2)