Arsenal are in the Czech Republic tonight to take on Slavia Prague in a bid to make it into the semi-final of this season’s Europa League.
The Gunners conceded an equaliser in the final minute of the first leg last week. Slavia have an advantage going into the game tonight, but if Arsenal play to their full potential, we should come away with a fairly comfortable win.
Mikel Arteta has a few tough decisions to make. The Arsenal boss has to get his team right as a defeat tonight would all but kill our dreams of playing European football again next season.
Kieran Tierney and David Luiz are ruled out for tonight’s game. Martin Odegaard and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are both doubts ahead of the clash, but going by Arteta’s words in his press conference yesterday, they might be fit enough to make the bench.
Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli have all been passed fit to play. That is a huge boost for us as the young trio’s energy and creativity will be vital in the big game tonight.
Arteta makes two changes from the first leg
Bernd Leno keeps his place in goal, as do Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Gabriel Magalhaes. The one change in defence, however, is Cedric making way for Granit Xhaka at left full-back.
The Swiss international was deployed in Tierney’s position on Sunday and he had a fantastic game. His performance against the Blades could tempt Arteta to use Xhaka again at left-back, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all.
Thomas Partey keeps his place in midfield and he is expected to be partnered with Dani Ceballos. The Spaniard was brilliant against the Blades too, and after his howler against Olympiacos in the last round, he will want to set things right.
After an impressive display at the weekend, Martinelli will likely come in for Willian on the left flank. The young Brazilian scored his first goal of the season on Sunday, and that would have boosted his confidence. Hopefully, he can deliver again tonight.
Smith Rowe starts in attacking midfield with Saka on the right. The two youngsters have been our best players since Christmas, and if they have a good game, we should come away with a win.
Alexandre Lacazette leads the line after his brace on Sunday. He missed two easy chances against Slavia last week and received a ton of criticism for it. However, he showed his class against Sheffield United, and hopefully, he can do the same again tonight.