Arsenal’s hopes of paving their way into the Champions League next season depends on winning the Eupora League this season. The Gunners secured a commendable 4-1 win over CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium last week in the first-leg of the quarter-finals of the competition.
On Thursday, Arsene Wenger’s men are due to make a trip to the VRB Arena to face the Russian outfit in the second-leg. Arsenal are indeed in a very strong position but they must refrain from being complacent and have to steer their way to the last four by hook or by crook.
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal are set to be without their January transfer window signing, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as the Armenian international is likely to miss the rest of the season with ligament damage. David Ospina is still nursing a knock and is also going to be unavailable. Meanwhile, Spanish maestro, Santi Cazorla, is out for the rest of the season due to his Archilles tendon injury.
Here is how we expect Wenger to roll out his starting line-up against Victor Goncharenko’s troops. (4-3-3)
Owing to the absence of Ospina, Petr Cech is expected to be stationed under the bar in the Europa League fixture by Wenger. The former Chelsea shot-stopper has been timorous on a few occasions this season but considering the experience he has under his belt, he will be a wise choice.
Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny are anticipated to start in the central defence yet again. Slowly but surely, these two centre-backs have churned a decent chemistry amongst them and have been resilient at the back lately.
Meanwhile, Sead Kolasinac is expected to take up the left-back slot. Kolasinac has the physicality to dominate the opposition on the flanks and it would make a lot of sense if he starts. Hector Bellerin’s pace, consistency and calibre should tempt Wenger to station him in the right-back position once again.
The trio, comprising of Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere is expected to be stationed in the middle of the park. All three of them are capable of shielding the back line and galloping forward to create chances and score goals. They have been more than decent this season and they must be aiming to continue their form.
Alexandre Lacazette is expected to lead the line for the north London based outfit. Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi are likely to get the green light to start from the right-wing and left-wing respectively and they will look to provide the right kind of service to the French striker to help Arsenal get an early goal and calm the nerves.