Arsenal face Olympiacos in the Europa League second leg this afternoon. While they are currently in the lead and have the advantage over their Greek opposition, Mikel Arteta won’t want to rest on his laurels. After all, he knows too well what happened in this fixture last season.
The Gunners won 3-1 last time out courtesy of some late drama. They are in great form after beating their bitter rivals Tottenham in the Premier League, but now they are back to European action. The Europa League might be Arteta’s only chance to win silverware this season, so he will take it seriously.
As far as the lineup is concerned, the UEL is always unpredictable. However, we can have a pretty good idea. Many youngsters will start in this match, as they oftentimes do in the Europa League.
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Furthermore, there were a few significant absentees in Arsenal’s North London Derby win. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed out on the action so he should return, as should Pablo Mari and Hector Bellerin in the defence.
At the same time, there are some Arsenal players who have been showing great form of late and therefore they deserve a break, for example Bukayo Saka; while his services are always appreciated, this could be the perfect match for Arteta to rest him, as with Granit Xhaka.
Here’s how I think Arsenal will lineup against Olympiacos…
Predicted Arsenal lineup: Leno; Bellerin, Mari, Gabriel, Tierney; Elneny, Ceballos, Smith Rowe; Pepe, Aubameyang, Odegaard
As you can see, although there are rotations, it’s a strong Gunners lineup. Arteta should feel confident in his team selection as it will provide the right balance he needs to secure the win. The defence is strong, and the attack has plenty of creativity and pace. Therefore, it won’t be solely about holding onto the win, Arsenal can entertain their fans in this one.
How do you think the Gunners should lineup?