CBS reporter James Benge claims Emile Smith Rowe will be on the bench for Arsenal against Rapid Vienna tonight.

Arsenal are already into the last 32, which provides Mikel Arteta with the ideal opportunity to rotate.

That may mean involvement for some of his young stars, but apparently Smith Rowe will not be in the starting 11.

That has frustrated some Arsenal fans on Twitter, who wanted to see the talented midfielder handed a chance to strut his stuff.

Benge added that Arteta could have a late change of mind – but the early team news update has not gone down especially well with some fans.

They can’t understand why, with qualification assured, Smith Rowe wouldn’t get a chance to start.

In mitigation, the midfielder is coming off the back of a long injury lay off and Arteta is likely being careful with his recovery.

It will be interesting to see if Smith Rowe does come off the bench to continue his return to fitness.

Arteta has used the competition to give the likes of Florian Balogun a full debut and in theory, it provides the ideal platform for Smith Rowe, especially given the game is a dead rubber.

Some supporters will be allowed back into the Emirates Stadium tonight, and there were a few Gunners unimpressed by the early team news report online…

Related Topics