Mkhitaryan to Start, No Ozil: Predicted Arsenal Lineup vs Valencia

Arsenal will look to defend their 3-1 lead when they take on Valencia in the semi-final return leg of the Europa League.

The Gunners conceded inside 15 minutes in the previous game, but did well to score thrice and take a good lead to the Mestalla.

Valencia, however, will take some stopping and the away goal means they just need to score twice and keep a cleansheet to progress to the final.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has a good record in the Europa League, and the travelling away fans will hope the Gunners are well-drilled compared to their last Premier League game against Brighton on Sunday.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan is in line to get a start, considering Aaron Ramsey is unavailable and Mesut Ozil’s workrate is an issue, especially in away games.

It would be brave if Emery goes with two strikers, so Alex Iwobi is in line to feature as well. Petr Cech should return to the team at the expense of Bernd Leno as well.

Predicted Arsenal lineup vs Valencia

Defence

Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, and Sokratis are expected to start in a three-man backline which might serve Arsenal well. Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles can prove the width and extra cover numbers while Arsenal don’t have the ball.

Cech should return to serve as the man between the sticks as he has been the Gunners’ designated cup ‘keeper this season.

Midfield

Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka should feature as the central midfielders for the Gunners.

The two will need to stem the movement of the Valencia attackers and make the best use of the counter attacks to set the attackers on their way.

While Xkaha’s distribution will be key, Torreira will have to show his incredible workrate to deny the Valencia attackers the room and time to operate.

Attack

Iwobi and Mkhitaryan should start behind Alexandre Lacazette in attack. Though a goal will help the Gunners, they should play with caution and not be too expansive, especially early on in the game.


Lacazette

Iwobi – Mkhitaryan

Kolasinac – Torreira – Xhaka – Maitland-Niles

Koscielny – Sokratis – Mustafi

Cech


 

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