Arsenal face Slavia Prague at home in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final, let’s take a look at our predicted lineup for the clash.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta reacts during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 19, 2020. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta reacts during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north-west England on December 19, 2020. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

Arsenal have to bounce back quickly from a terrible Premier League performance against Liverpool in their Europa League clash on Thursday. Once again, their season is riding on winning the competition, so they need a big performance.

Mikel Arteta will go as strong as he can for the match, but a lot is going to depend on which players are fit and available to play. Kieran Tierney, David Luiz, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka, and Emile Smith Rowe all have health or fitness problems right now.

Here’s our Arsenal predicted lineup for the Slavia Prague first leg.

Goalkeeper

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno during the UEFA Europa League Round of Sixteen second-leg match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Thursday March 18, 2021. Copyright: Adam Davy
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno during the UEFA Europa League Round of Sixteen second-leg match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Thursday, March 18, 2021. Copyright: Adam Davy

Bernd Leno will start, as Arteta doesn’t really have any room for experimentation in this game. If he wants to give Mat Ryan another match before the end of the season, Sunday’s Sheffield United clash would make more sense.

Defence

LONDON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal is challenged by Raphinha of Leeds United during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on February 14, 2021. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal is challenged by Raphinha of Leeds United during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on February 14, 2021. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

With David Luiz and Kieran Tierney both likely to miss out, Gabriel Magalhaes alongside Rob Holding is the most probable centre-back pairing with Cedric Soares at left-back. Pablo Mari could come in for Gabriel, but Gabriel seems to be first-choice at the moment.

At right-back, Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin are both available. Though Chambers didn’t make any major defensive errors against Liverpool, he also offered nothing going forward, and Arteta may be tempted to rotate as a result.

Midfield

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Granit Xhaka 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 Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on February 21, 2021. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed, but you’d think Arsenal’s first-choice midfield will be available for this one. That’s Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, and Martin Odegaard.

Xhaka only missed out on Liverpool through illness, so if it’s nothing too serious, he should be back in contention in the next few days. Dani Ceballos has really struggled lately, so it would be a blow to have to rely on him in this match.

Whether you consider Emile Smith Rowe part of the midfield or the forwards at the moment, he still isn’t back in training after his injury on international duty, so we’re assuming he’ll miss this one.

Forwards

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday March 14, 2021. Copyright: Dan Mullan
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday, March 14, 2021. Copyright: Dan Mullan

Given Bukayo Saka returned to training a day before the Liverpool game, we’re staying optimistic that means he’ll be available for Thursday. If he is, he has to start.

The current attempt to force Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette into one team just isn’t working, so one of them surely has to drop out. We’re predicting Aubameyang to start up front.

As for the position on the left, there are a few options. Nicolas Pepe could shift across, Gabriel Martinelli could get a rare start, or Reiss Nelson a highly improbable one, but we’re predicting Willian to make the lineup.

Willian had four assists in five games before his calf injury, including in both of his last two Europa League matches. But mostly, Arteta will probably opt for him for his experience in European knockout fixtures.

After all, Willian has experience of this exact fixture, facing Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-final with Chelsea in 2019. He assisted their late first-leg winner on that occasion.

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Slavia Prague

Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Slavia Prague created with Chosen11.com
Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Slavia Prague created with Chosen11.com