Arsenal take on Slavia Prague in the quarter-final of the Europa League tonight and Mikel Arteta, predictably, has named a strong lineup.
The Gunners are looking to bounce back after a humiliating defeat to Liverpool on Saturday. Arsenal were woeful last weekend, and nothing but a convincing win at the Emirates tonight is acceptable.
As expected, Bernd Leno starts in goal. The German hasn’t kept a clean sheet since our 0-0 draw against Manchester United back in January – a terrible run of 13 games. He would love nothing more than to end that run tonight.
With Kieran Tierney out injured, Cedric Soares starts at left-back. The Potuguese international has done well there before, and Arteta will be hoping that he can hold his own against a tricky Slavia Prague side.
Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes start in central defence with Hector Bellerin at right-back. The Spaniard starts only his third game since the start of last month, and he will have to be at his best tonight.
Xhaka, Saka and Smith Rowe return
Granit Xhaka returns after missing the game on Saturday and he partners Thomas Partey. Arsenal really missed the Swiss international against Liverpool, and his return is a humongous boost for us.
Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka also return to starting lineup after missing the game last weekend. The young English pair have been our driving force since Christmas, and if they have a good game, we should come away with a positive result.
Willian gets the nod on the left ahead of Gabriel Martinelli and that is a big call. The experienced Brazilian has been a lot better recently and Arteta will be counting on him to deliver the goods tonight.
Alexandre Lacazette leads the line which means that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been dropped after a terrible run of form. That is a big call by Arteta, but it is one he had to make considering how poor the Gabon star has been in recent weeks.
Arsenal XI vs Slavia Prague: Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Cedric Soares; Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka; Willian, Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka; Alexandre Lacazette.
Substitutes: Maty Ryan, Pablo Mari, Joel Lopez, Mohamed Elneny, Miguel Azeez, Dani Ceballos, Reiss Nelson, Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah, Karl Hein.
Come On You Gunners!