Arsenal are scheduled to entertain Olympiacos in the second leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie tonight. The Gunners have been in good form since the winter break with three wins on the bounce and manager Mikel Arteta will be hoping that his side can come up with another solid display to ensure the progress to the next round of the Europa League.
The north London side have the away goal advantage after the slender 1-0 win against Olympiacos on the road. Still, Arteta should be wary of the threat from the Greek outfit and probably go with a stronger lineup than the first leg in Piraeus.
Bernd Leno was chosen ahead of Emiliano Martinez during the first leg of the contest. Arteta was quite clear that he wants his best-performing shot-stopper between the sticks and the same should be the case tonight.
Bellerin missed the previous European outing due to a minor thigh concern. The Spaniard should, however, feature in tonight’s game. David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi will definitely take up the central defensive positions.
Bukayo Saka will start on the left side of the backline with Sead Kolasinac out injured while Cedric Soares and Kieran Tierney are yet to return to full training after their respective injuries.
In the centre of the park, Granit Xhaka has been a regular starter under Arteta and the Swiss will surely take up one of the positions. We are anticipating Lucas Torreira to accompany the former Gunners captain.
Torreira has barely featured for the Gunners since the winter break and he could get the nod for a starting role ahead of Matteo Guendouzi and Dani Ceballos, who has started back-to-back league games.
In the attack, Arteta should stick with the same personnel from last weekend, particularly with the Gunners not playing their next game until Monday night when they face Portsmouth in the FA Cup fifth round.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Mesut Ozil should make up the attack with Alexandre Lacazette likely to lead the line ahead of Eddie Nketiah.
Lacazette was surprisingly on the bench for last weekend’s league meeting against Everton and his replacement in Nketiah proved himself by scoring the levelling goal at 1-1.
Still, Arteta should decide to rotate his strikers and Lacazette has the opportunity to score for the third-straight appearance and help his team progress to the next round of the Europa League.
Lacazette did score the crucial away goal during the final 10 minutes in Piraeus but he was pretty average in the opening half where he squandered a couple of genuine scoring opportunities.