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Arsenal v Standard Liege: Tierney asked not to link up with Scotland

Tierney played 77 minutes in the victory over Nottingham Forest

Arsenal boss Unai Emery asked Kieran Tierney not to join Scotland for the Euro 2020 qualifiers, to help his injury comeback.

But the former Celtic left-back could start in the Europa League tie with Standard Liege on Thursday, having missed Monday’s Premier League draw with Man Utd.

“We are thinking it is not the moment to work with Scotland,” Emery said.

“The doctor told us it is better to be here preparing for the next match.”

Tierney made his first competitive start for the Gunners in the 5-0 Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest, following a double hernia operation in May.

“We are taking precautions. He didn’t play in Manchester because he had a small problem – not important – but the doctor told us that it’s better for him to be here, working alone,” added Emery.

“Thursday is a good opportunity, because he is ready to play.

“He will take minutes, he will take confidence and will be able to show his progress.”

Arsenal beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 away from home in their opening Group F game, where academy graduates Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka scored.

Emery is expected to rotate his team for the visit of the Belgian side.

“If they deserve to play, give them chances to play,” Emery said. “If they are playing well, they have more chances to be with us and to play in more matches.”

Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson will be in contention to start, with Mesut Ozil also likely to come into the side.

Asked if the German midfielder could go out on loan in January, Emery said: “He’s our player now.”

Best of the stats

  • Arsenal have won all four encounters with Standard Liege in European competition, scoring 15 goals in the process.
  • Standard Liege have lost seven of their eight trips to England in all European competition, with the only exception being a 2-2 draw with Everton during the 2008-09 UEFA Cup.
  • Arsenal are looking to win six consecutive home European matches (excluding qualifiers) for the first time at the Emirates, and first time since winning seven in a row between March 2001 and February 2002 at Highbury.
  • Arsenal boss Unai Emery has won 18 of his last 20 home Europa League matches across spells with Sevilla and the Gunners (W18 D1 L1), including the last five in a row.

Original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49874359

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