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Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah out to make English football history against Bodo/Glimt

Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah out to make English football history against Bodo/Glimt

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah will be aiming to do what no English player has done before in the Europa League when the Gunners tackle Bodo/Glimt on Thursday.

The 23-year-old has regularly led the line for the Gunners in Europe’s secondary competition while Gabriel Jesus continues to shine as Arsenal’s Premier League number nine.

Nketiah has picked up where he left off in the Europa League, scoring in both of Arsenal’s wins over Bodo/Glimt and FC Zurich so far in the 2022-23 edition.

The former England Under-21 international headed home the winning goal in Arsenal’s 2-1 success over Zurich before breaking the deadlock against Bodo/Glimt last week – reacting quickest when Kieran Tierney‘s effort cannoned off the post into the danger area.

Nketiah will be expected to return to the starting lineup when Arsenal renew hostilities with Bodo/Glimt on Thursday, and he could write himself into the history books in the process.

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah pictured on September 8, 2022© Reuters

As well as finding the back of the net against Zurich and Bodo/Glimt this year, Nketiah netted in back-to-back starts against Rapid Vienna and Dundalk in the 2020-21 group stage.

Should the Englishman start and score in Thursday’s match, he will become the first-ever English player to do so five times in a row in the Europa League.

Nketiah was widely expected to leave Arsenal as a free agent in the summer transfer window after struggling for regular domestic starts, and he has only been used off the bench in the Premier League so far this term.

However, the striker still boasts a respectable 25 goals and three assists from 103 senior appearances in an Arsenal shirt, including three contributions from two Europa League games this season.

Mikel Arteta was full of praise for Nketiah following his strong showing in last week’s 3-0 win over Bodo/Glimt, telling a press conference: “His work rate, attitude and application is just phenomenal but he’s got this natural ability (to score) and he does it every time.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on October 9, 2022© Reuters

“I am really happy to have him in the team. He has the qualities to play for this team in any role – as a starter, finisher, however you call him. We all love his attitude and the qualities he has so we are happy to have him.

“You have to look at what you have done (which is) great, but what can you do better? That’s his mentality and this is where we want to take him. When you see how he has evolved in the last year or two, he still has a lot of room to do that.”

Nketiah will likely be one of several alterations to the Arsenal starting lineup at the Aspmyra Stadion, as Fabio Vieira, Reiss Nelson, Marquinhos, Rob Holding and Albert Sambi Lokonga push for recalls.

Arteta is expected to take the opportunity to rest Jesus, who was caught by Kostas Tsimikas‘s elbow in Sunday’s 3-2 Premier League win over Liverpool, although he was able to carry on after receiving treatment.

The 25-year-old missed training on Wednesday morning, but his absence is understood to have been a precaution, and he should travel with the squad for Thursday’s Europa League game.

Arsenal lead the way at the top of the Group A standings with six points from six on offer – two clear of PSV Eindhoven and Bodo/Glimt with a game in hand over the Norwegian champions.

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