Arsenal take on Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night. Here is the team Gooner Mac expects Mikel Arteta to select.
Arsenal take on Slavia Prague at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Here is the team we expects Mikel Arteta to select:
Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno has conceded six goals in his last two games but the German stopper is still certain to keep his place between the sticks with Mat Ryan back-up on the bench.
Defence: Arsenal have been dealt a major blow as Kieran Tierney is set for a spell on the sidelines after injuring his knee during the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend. The Scottish international is still being assessed but won’t be available tomorrow so Cedric Soares should come-in at left-back.
We should also see a changes on the opposite side of the defence with Hector Bellerin recalled in place of Calum Chambers.
Gabriel and Rob Holding were poor against Liverpool but with David Luiz out injured following surgery, the duo are expected to keep their places meaning Pablo Mari will remain on the bench.
Midfield: Granit Xhaka missed the game on Saturday due to illness but he’s set to return against Slavia Prague. The Swiss star will be partnered by Thomas Partey in the middle of the park so Dani Ceballos is expected to make way.
Martin Odegaard had a frustrating game against Liverpool but he’s been in excellent form for Arsenal in recent weeks so he should keep his place in the attacking midfield role.
Attack: Bukayo Saka didn’t feature against Liverpool due to a thigh injury but he’s been in training since last Friday so is expected to return to the squad tomorrow. If fit enough, Saka should certainly start in attack as he’s been sorely missed while on the sidelines.
Emile Smith Rowe was another important absentee at the weekend but he’s also been back in training and should be fit to start against Slavia Prague so Nicolas Pepe is likely to drop back to the bench.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was widely criticised for his display on Saturday night but he wasn’t the only player to have a poor game. I still expect the Gabon hitman to keep his place and start through the middle with Alexandre Lacazette the man to make way.
The likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Willian will be named among the substitutes so Arteta will have attacking options again if Smith Rowe and Saka are passed fit.
Here is how I think we’ll see Arsenal line-up:
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