Arsenal face Olympiacos in their Europa League Round-of-32 first leg on Thursday, on the back of a big win over Newcastle United.

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 16: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2020, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side travel to Olympiacos for their first Europa League knockout tie this week.

Despite their 4-0 victory in the Premier League this weekend, the team remain seven points off the top four. The Europa League is still probably the best way to achieve Champions League qualification as things stand.

Even with the inclusion of the eliminated Champions League clubs, the Gunners still hold some of the best odds to win the competition, and in facing Olympiacos benefit from being drawn against one of the lesser UCL clubs to transfer over.

All the same, the North London side only have one win in four attempts away to the Greek club, so Arteta will have to go strong to get a result. Let’s have a look at our Arsenal predicted lineup for the Olympiacos clash.

Goalkeeper

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: Emiliano Martinez of Arsenal in action during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal at Vitality Stadium on January 27, 2020, in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 27: Emiliano Martinez of Arsenal in action during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal at Vitality Stadium on January 27, 2020, in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

For once, Arteta has a decision to make here. Emi Martinez is the cup goalkeeper, and he played the Europa League group stage for the team.

Does the head coach stick with him, or swap to first-choice Premier League goalkeeper Bernd Leno now that these ties are so important? We expect Martinez to keep his place for now, but as the competition goes in, he may find himself fighting for his spot.

Defence

WATFORD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Sead Kolasinac of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Arsenal FC at Vicarage Road on September 15, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
WATFORD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Sead Kolasinac of Arsenal looks on during a Premier League match. Watford FC versus Arsenal FC at Vicarage Road on September 15, 2019, in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

There are a few calls to make here. At left-back, Bukayo Saka played excellently at the weekend, but Sead Kolasinac is back. The 26-year-old has more experience in these kinds of games, and especially away from home he’s probably the safer pick.

David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi are forming an unlikely partnership at the back, and it’s hard to see Arteta dropping either one of them.

He has other options if he wants them, from Sokratis Papastathopoulos to Rob Holding and Pablo Mari, who both played 45 minutes for the u23s on Monday.

Hector Bellerin should start at right-back. Ainsley Maitland-Niles didn’t even make the squad against Newcastle, and Cedric Soares isn’t ready yet.

Midfield

Arsenal's Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta (L) talks with Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos (2nd R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 16, 2020.
Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta (L) talks with Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos (2nd R). English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 16, 2020. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos and Mesut Özil midfield worked well against Newcastle. The most likely change is Lucas Torreira coming in for Ceballos, to add a bit more solidity away from home and avoid overplaying the Spaniard.

Joe Willock and Matteo Guendouzi are also available – if Guendouzi sorts out his dispute with the head coach. Still, it feels like Arteta might stick with what worked at the weekend. Anything to keep the momentum going right now.

Forwards

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates with Nicolas Pepe after he scores his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2020 in London, United Kingdom.
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 16: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates with Nicolas Pepe after he scores his side’s first goal. Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2020, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette all scored at the weekend. It’s hard to look past the trio for starts in this one.

Gabriel Martinelli showed great form in January, but he never seems to get the nod ahead of Lacazette up front, and it’s unlikely Aubameyang drops out of the team. Eddie Nketiah did get a chance at the weekend, but he’ll probably concede his place for this one.

Reiss Nelson is back, but again, it’s a question of who he’s going to replace. Pepe is on the back of a goal and two assists against Newcastle, so it would be bizarre to drop him now.

Predicted Lineup

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