Taking a 3-1 lead into the second leg of their Europa League Round-of-16 clash, let’s take a look at our Arsenal predicted lineup to face Olympiacos.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta centre celebrates with Thomas Partey left and Granit Xhaka after the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday March 14, 2021. Copyright: xulian Finney
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates with Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka after the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday, March 14, 2021. Copyright: Julian Finney

Having beaten Spurs at the weekend, Arsenal’s next task is to ensure qualification to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

After last Thursday’s 3-1 victory away from home, they’re in a strong position to progress in the tie. But Mikel Arteta won’t want to risk a confidence-destroying comeback defeat, so he’ll probably avoid taking too many risks.

If Arsenal get an early goal or two and kill the tie, Arteta can always use some of his five available substitutions at half-time. Better to start strong in this case.

All the same, there will probably be at least a few changes to the side that beat Spurs. While you wait for the game, check out Tha casino. For now, here’s our Arsenal predicted lineup to face Olympiacos.

Goalkeeper

LONDON, ENGLAND: Bernd Leno of Arsenal celebrates with teammate Pablo Mari of Arsenal after making a penalty save during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Bernd Leno of Arsenal celebrates with teammate Pablo Mari of Arsenal after making a penalty save during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Bernd Leno will almost certainly start in goal. Even with the 3-1 lead, you don’t want to risk rotating your goalkeepers and a couple of howlers suddenly throwing Olympiacos back into contention.

Arsenal still have to play all of the PL’s bottom five in their final 10 league games, so perhaps those are the matches for Mat Ryan to aim for, as Leno hopefully focuses on the latter stages of the Europa League.

Defence

Arsenal’s Spanish defender Hector Bellerin (C) runs with the ball during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg football match between SL Benfica and Arsenal at the Olimpico stadium in Rome on February 18, 2021. (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Hector Bellerin will probably come back in for this one, after starting the first leg before missing out on the Spurs clash.

The rest of the back four should stay consistent, with too much riding on the result. That means Kieran Tierney, Gabriel Magalhaes, and David Luiz starting.

It’s a little harsh on Pablo Mari, and it’s certainly not impossible Arteta selects the Spaniard to start in Gabriel’s place. But Gabriel was fantastic in both games last week and has made himself difficult to drop.

Midfield

LONDON, ENGLAND: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Whilst it’s not impossible Arteta decides to switch things up a bit in midfield, it’s also hard to see who he could easily drop without taking a bit of a risk.

Dani Ceballos has proven too error-prone in these knockout stages so far, and Mohamed Elneny starting could invite Olympiacos on a bit much. It’s probably safer to start with Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey and then bring the other two on when the tie’s over.

Martin Odegaard will likely start in the number 10 position. The only real alternative is Smith Rowe, who played out on the left against Spurs.

Forwards

LEICESTER, ENGLAND: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal scores their team’s third goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on February 28, 2021. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

This is the area we’re expecting the most changes in. For a start, Bukayo Saka picked up an injury against Spurs, so Nicolas Pepe is the obvious call to take his place on the right.

With Emile Smith Rowe only recently returning from injury, it’s probably safer to rotate him out as well, with Willian coming in.

Up front, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has served his disciplinary absence for lateness and will probably get a chance to put things right on the pitch.

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Olympiacos

Arsenal Predicted Lineup to face Olympiacos created with Chosen11.com
Arsenal Predicted Lineup to face Olympiacos created with Chosen11.com

Read on for our predicted lineup for the first leg against Olympiacos, posted before the game.

After a frustrating draw away to Burnley at the weekend, let’s take a look at our Arsenal predicted lineup to face Olympiacos in the Europa League.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on February 21, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by John Walton - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on February 21, 2021. (Photo by John Walton – Pool/Getty Images)

Dropping points in the Premier League again on Saturday just adds to the importance of the Europa League for Arsenal.

Right now, it looks like winning the tournament is the only way they’ll have any chance of making it into next season’s Champions League. Possibly the only way they’ll make it into European competition at all.

Mikel Arteta knows all too well what can happen if his side don’t perform against Olympiacos, so he’ll want them to come out strong in the first leg away from home. Here’s our predicted lineup for the clash.

Goalkeeper

ROME, ITALY: Bernd Leno of Arsenal looks for a pass during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between SL Benfica and Arsenal FC at Stadio Olimpico on February 18, 2021. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

It’s going to be Bernd Leno again, as usual. Runar Alex Runarsson is back from injury but ineligible for the Europa League knockout stages, so Mat Ryan will make the bench, and Karl Hein will probably join him as the emergency third-choice goalkeeper.

Defence

LONDON, ENGLAND: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal and Pablo Mari of Arsenal celebrate following their team's victory in the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal and Pablo Mari of Arsenal celebrate following their team’s victory in the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility we see the same centre-back pairing that started against Burnley. Pablo Mari played very well, so he’s arguably earned his place in the starting lineup at the moment alongside David Luiz.

It’s slightly harsh on Gabriel, but it’s not meant to be an indictment of his performances, nor Rob Holding’s. Mari and Luiz just look like the in-form pairing right now.

Kieran Tierney has to start at left-back, and Hector Bellerin will probably come back in at right back. Cedric Soares is a very possible alternative, but Bellerin’s inclusion in Saturday’s squad over Cedric suggests he still has priority.

Calum Chambers played well enough against Burnley, but it was only his second start of the season and it seems unlikely he features in the starting lineup for such a big game.

Midfield

Arsenal's Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard (C) warms up with teammates ahead of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 30, 2021. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard (C) warms up with teammates ahead of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 30, 2021. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP)

Until Arsenal tell us otherwise, we have to assume Emile Smith Rowe won’t be available for this one. The club haven’t put an official timeframe on his return, so it’s guesswork either way.

That would mean another start for Martin Odegaard at 10, with Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey likely to reprise their roles from Saturday’s draw behind him. Other than Xhaka’s poor error (which can’t be ignored), the midfield performed well.

Dani Ceballos is the primary candidate to come in if Xhaka or Partey drop out, but his last Europa League appearance involved helping Benfica score two goals. So he’s no less risky than Xhaka and will probably remain on the bench.

Forwards

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28: Nicolas Pepe ofArsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on February 28, 2021 in Leicester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)
LEICESTER, ENGLAND: Nicolas Pepe ofArsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on February 28, 2021. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have to start, as they’re proving Arsenal’s biggest threats at the moment. Nicolas Pepe should also come in, looking dangerous in his last couple of appearances against Leicester City and Burnley.

The big question is which way around the two wingers will start. On Saturday, Pepe came on and played on the right, with Saka shifting to the left. But they’ve also had success playing the other way around, so it could go either way.

Given Saka’s importance to the team right now and the fact he’s seemingly at his best on the right, that will probably sway Arteta’s decision that way.

Willian, Alexandre Lacazette, and Gabriel Martinelli should all make the squad, and perhaps Eddie Nketiah will get in as well given the extra spaces available. Willian or Lacazette could start, but I wouldn’t recommend them over the alternatives.

Predicted Arsenal Lineup vs Olympiacos

Arsenal predicted lineup vs Olympiacos created with Chosen11.com
Arsenal predicted lineup vs Olympiacos created with Chosen11.com