Arsenal make the trip to Portugal to face Vitoria in Wednesday’s Europa League clash. The Gunners have accumulated the perfect tally of nine points from the opening three group stage games and they can realistically cement their knockout spot with another victory.
Unai Emery’s side have managed just one win since the previous international break and that came during the reverse fixture against Vitoria at the Emirates Stadium which ended 3-2 in the Gunners’ favour. Nicolas Pepe singlehandedly changed the club’s fortunes during that contest after scoring with two splendid freekicks in an 18-minute cameo .
Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez has been the undisputed choice for the Cup competitions this term and he is expected to start between the sticks. The 27-year-old started the campaign with three successive clean sheets but he has conceded seven times in the past two games alone.
In the defence, a complete overhaul is expected. Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac should slot into the right and left-back spots while Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding should feature at the heart of the backline. Holding did receive some criticism from the fans for the Anfield display after he was easily turned over by Divock Origi for both of the Belgian’s goals.
In the centre of the park, Granit Xhaka continues to remain out of contention following his altercation with the fans in the match against Crystal Palace. Emery is expected to ring in the changes and we are anticipating Ainsley Maitland-Niles to partner Lucas Torreira with Joe Willock taking up the advanced role among the trio.
In the attack, Gabriel Martinelli should lead the line for this game. The Brazilian has netted seven goals from his previous four starts in the Cup competitions. On the right-wing, Nicolas Pepe should feature after remaining an unused substitute at the weekend while Emile Smith-Rowe may get the nod on the opposite flank.
Share the post "Martinelli and Pepe start, Predicted Arsenal lineup (4-2-3-1) to face Vitoria"