Arsenal resume their Europa League campaign with a potentially tricky round of 32 tie against Belarusian side BATE Borisov.
The Gunners will be in action tomorrow in the first leg away to Belarus. After a confidence-sapping defeat at Manchester City, Unai Emery’s side did just enough to get past bottom-placed Huddersfield Town in the league.
Their away form in general has been wobbly since the festive period, and that will come under stern test tomorrow.
For Arsenal, this is the only realistic trophy they can win this season and it’s safe to say Emery has a good record in this competition.
The Spaniard won it three times in a row for Sevilla, beating Liverpool in the one of the finals in 2016.
Hence why the North Londoners should feel confident going into the knockout stages of this competition.
In terms of injury news, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are not fit enough to make the squad. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is okay after falling ill over the weekend. Sokratis is making fast recovery, but wouldn’t be starting this game.
Here’s how we think Emery might line his team up tomorrow:
GK: Petr Cech
This is his last season in football and the veteran would be hoping to finish his career by winning the Europa League. He is expected to start the games in this competition.
RB: Stephan Lichtsteiner
The veteran had a poor game against City and was left out of the Huddersfield game. We predict him to start tomorrow.
CB: Konstantinos Mavropanos
The youngster has been back fit from long-term injury for some time now. This would be an ideal game for him to start and gain match fitness.
CB: Laurent Koscielny
The Frenchman is slowly getting back to his best. We predict him to lead the team tomorrow.
LB: Nacho Monreal
It is safe to say, Sead Kolasinac hasn’t been in great form, hence why Monreal could be picked ahead of him for this game.
CDM: Mohamed Elneny
With Lucas Torreira expected to get a rest, we predict Elneny to take the Uruguayan’s place in midfield.
LCM: Joe Willock
The youngster started a couple of games in the group stage of this competition and impressed. Thus, we could see him starting tomorrow.
RCM: Matteo Guendouzi
We predict the teenager to start in midfield and be a calming influence in pressure situations.
CAM: Henrikh Mkhitaryan
With Ozil and Ramsey out and the manager suggesting that Denis Suarez is still not up to it to start a game, we predict Mkhitaryan as a number 10. This is the Armenian’s favoured position though.
ST: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Illness kept him out of the previous game, but the Gabonese international is back fit now, according to the manager. He would be a nightmare for BATE defenders tomorrow night.
ST: Eddie Nketiah
The teenager began two games in the group-stage and gave a good account of himself. He could another opportunity to impress the manager and link-up with Aubameyang.