After the calamitous performance in Belarus last week, Unai Emery needs to make a few changes if he wants to turn things around and progress to the last-16 of the Europa League.
For a start, Alexandre Lacazette won’t be available for the clash, after picking up a red card. However, there are other areas of the pitch where Emery needs to make changes, as well as a couple of players returning after injury.
Although Arsenal have a Premier League game against Southampton at the weekend, they can’t let that affect the team selection for this match. It’s now or never for Emery’s side in the Europa League, and he has to go as strong as he can and get a result or it’s over.
Let’s have a look at our predicted lineup for the match.
1Goalkeeper and Defence
Petr Cech will presumably keep his place in the team after last week, as he didn’t make any major mistakes and his distribution was good. It seems he’s going to play in the Europa League games while Bernd Leno takes the Premier League matches, at least for now.
In front of him, Arsenal need to switch to a back four, because the back three added nothing against BATE Borisov. There was no benefit defensively, as the team conceded chances as regularly as usual, and in possession, the extra centre-back did nothing except slow things down.
Unfortunately, Hector Bellerin’s absence at right-back means the problems in that position are set to go on. Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ isn’t really a full-back, and Stephan Lichtsteiner is on a terrible run of form. Nonetheless, for the good of the team Maitland-Niles will just have to try and hold things down for a game.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos is back from injury, so he should start alongside Laurent Koscielny, as those two are certainly Arsenal’s best performing centre-backs this season. Then Sead Kolasinac will presumably keep his place on the left.
Click ‘Next’ for Midfield, Forwards and the full Predicted Starting XI