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UEFA ruling to impact Cedric as Mikel Arteta makes changes for Arsenal’s Champions League return

UEFA ruling to impact Cedric as Mikel Arteta makes changes for Arsenal’s Champions League return

This Wednesday evening, Arsenal will have the opportunity to host a UEFA Champions League match at the Emirates Stadium for the first time since March 2017. They will welcome PSV Eindhoven as the group stage begins.

After a significant absence from this competition, Mikel Arteta is understandably eager for Arsenal to return to the elite European stage, where they will compete against renowned teams such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Barcelona. He is also prepared for the challenges that lie ahead for his players.

“Well, it’s exactly the same as last year. We played every three days but it was in the Europa League,” the Spaniard said last week.

“The competition is different, especially after being away for seven years, but it’s exciting. This is where we want to be. When you look at the fixtures and the games we have to play everybody is really looking forward to it.”

As the other Group B match between Sevilla and RC Lens unfolds, Mikel Arteta is well aware of the significance of starting on a positive note.

Arsenal’s last Champions League victory was a 4-1 win over Basel in December 2016. Nonetheless, they might find confidence in their recent success against PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League group stage less than a year ago.

Although Arsenal dominated possession and registered more than 25 shots on goal, they should have won by a more considerable margin.

They eventually secured their victory in the 70th minute when Granit Xhaka scored the sole goal of the game, securing their place in the knockout stages.

It’s worth noting that the Arsenal lineup that faced PSV last October will undergo at least five changes this Wednesday night. This is due to departures, with Matt Turner, Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney, and Albert Sambi Lokonga no longer with the team.

However, some things remain consistent. Cedric Soares was part of the matchday squad on that evening, and thanks to a recent announcement and a UEFA ruling, he could potentially replicate his role when PSV Eindhoven visits the capital once again.

Unlike Premier League or domestic fixtures in England, European competitions allow Mikel Arteta to select a 23-man matchday squad. However, in European matches, it’s customary to include three goalkeepers, leaving one spot for either James Hillson or Karl Hein, assuming that Aaron Ramsdale and David Raya are both available for selection.

This leaves two remaining spots to fill. Considering that Thomas Partey is sidelined due to injury, Gabriel Martinelli is uncertain after his recent injury against Everton, Mohamed Elneny is not yet ready to return to action following knee surgery, and Jurrien Timber is not registered on the 25-man List A squad, Cedric could benefit as a senior player.

Cedric’s inclusion in the club’s Champions League squad, especially after he was heavily rumored to leave during the summer transfer window, was somewhat surprising when the list was submitted this week. However, he is staying with the team at least until January and might have the opportunity to get some playing time during the group phase.

If Cedric is indeed named in Arsenal’s matchday squad against PSV, it will mark the first time he has achieved this since the 4-2 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion back in December 2022.

UEFA ruling to impact Cedric as Mikel Arteta makes changes for Arsenal’s Champions League return

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