Arsenal will take a 2-0 lead to Italy to face Napoli in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night.
Last Thursday, Arsenal won their fourth home Europa League match in a row, keeping a clean sheet to put themselves in a strong position for the away fixture in Naples. An away goal for the Gunners in the second leg would leave their opponents needing four to qualify, so things couldn’t have gone much better so far.
Unfortunately, Unai Emery’s side have a terrible record away from home in the knockout stages, losing both of their previous matches against BATE Borisov and Stade Rennais. Napoli are unlikely to provide an easier challenge.
As a result, Emery will need to pick his very strongest eleven and have everyone rise to the task if the team are going to qualify for the semi-finals. Let’s have a look at the team news and our predicted lineup for the clash.
Goalkeeper and Centre-Backs
Earlier in the week, Unai Emery all but confirmed that he plans to stick with Petr Cech in the Europa League and Bernd Leno in the Premier League, as he has done so far. Of course, that may change with injuries or poor performances, but for Thursday, it’s clear Cech will start in goal.
In the centre-back positions, Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ Premier League suspension means he’s rested and ready to go for this game. Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal all started against Watford, so Emery is going to have to pick two of them to play again. On recent form, it should be Koscielny and Monreal.
Konstantinos Mavropanos also returned to competitive action with a start against Watford on Monday, but he’s ineligible for this competition.
Napoli vs Arsenal Betting Tips
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored nine goals in his last 11 European matches at the last-16 or quarter-final stage. Bet on Aubameyang to score first or last with BetUK at 7/4.
Napoli have only kept one clean sheet in all competitions since the start of March. Bet on Arsenal to score over 0.5 goals with BetUK at 2/5.
Every competitive clash between Arsenal and Napoli has involved two goals being scored. Bet on over 1.5 total goals with BetUK at 1/6.
Prediction: Napoli 1-1 Arsenal (19/4 with BetUK).