Arsenal will be hoping to make a good start to their European knockout campaign when they face Greek side Olympiakos in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Thursday evening.
After the mid-season break, the Gunners resumed their campaign with an emphatic 4-0 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League.
They’ll now be hoping to get a positive result away in Greece in order to stand a greater chance of wrapping up the tie at the Emirates next week.
However, it won’t be as Olympiakos are a dangerous side, especially at their home. They will surely test the Gunners defence to the limit.
For Mikel Arteta’s side, Mesut Ozil hasn’t travelled with the squad due to personal reasons, while Lucas Torreira is ill.
Matteo Guendouzi did travel with the team, but may still be on the bench.
That all being said, here’s how we think manager Arteta will line his Arsenal team up…
GK - Emiliano Martinez
Martinez is Arsenal’s keeper in Europa League games. We think he will continue to be in goal.
RB - Ainsley Maitland-Niles
With Hector Bellerin expected to get a rest, we could see Maitland-Niles in action at right-back this evening.
CB - Sokratis
The Greece international is back fit now and could start this game in order to get some much-needed minutes under his belt.
CB - Shkodran Mustafi
We think Mustafi’s form has been very good in the past month. Therefore, we feel he deserves a prolonged spell in the side and should continue to start at the back for the Gunners.
LB - Bukayo Saka
With injuries to other senior left-backs, Arteta has no real choice but to stick with the impressive Saka in that position.
CM - Granit Xhaka
Xhaka’s form has seen a major upturn since the arrival of Arteta.
We feel as if the Swiss international is probably the first name on the teamsheet these days. Expect him to play a big part in the away leg.
CM - Joe Willock
With Ozil ruled out of this game due to personal reasons, we think Willock is in line to get the nod to shine in midfield.
RW - Nicolas Pepe
Pepe was at his mesmerising best against Newcastle.
He’ll now be aiming to cause problems to the Olympiakos defence and help the team nick an away goal or two.
CAM - Dani Ceballos
Ceballos played extremely well on Sunday despite not been playing much competitive football before that.
With Torreira ill and Guendouzi not up to the mark, the Spaniard could keep his position in central midfield.
LW - Gabriel Martinelli
With a thought that captain Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang may get a rest before Sunday’s vital league game against Everton, we think Martinelli will start in his place on the left wing.
The teenager was an unused sub on Sunday and should be fresh to start.
ST - Alexandre Lacazette
Lacazette finally broke his goal drought after coming off the bench against Newcastle.
The Frenchman may now lead the line this evening, looking to continue his goalscoring form.