Needing just one point to advance to the last 16 of the Champions League, Arsenal welcome RC Lens to the Emirates Stadium for Wednesday’s Group B clash.
The Gunners have accumulated nine points from their opening four group-stage fixtures to sit on top of Group B. They hold a four-point lead at the summit and enjoyed a comprehensive 2-0 home win over Sevilla in their last continental fixture.
However, the Mikel Arteta-managed side’s only slip-up so far came against Lens in France and they will be out to avenge that defeat in midweek. The north London side go into this fixture off the back of a 1-0 away success over Brentford in the Premier League.
Arsenal Team News
Mikel Arteta welcomed Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus back into his Arsenal lineup against Brentford on Saturday, but Thomas Partey (thigh), Jurrien Timber (knee) and Emile Smith Rowe (knee) remain out injured.
Arsenal were unable to call upon the services of first-choice goalkeeper David Raya or Fabio Vieira against Brentford owing to ineligibility and suspension respectively. However, both men are back at Arteta’s disposal for this Champions League game against RC Lens.
On-loan from Brentford, David Raya can expect an immediate recall in goal over Aaron Ramsdale, who had a shaky outing in goal at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday.
Arsenal are expected to line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with a familiar-looking backline of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba starting in front of Raya.
Ben White could replace Takehiro Tomiyasu at right-back in the Arsenal lineup after coming on as a substitute in Arsenal’s win over Brentford last weekend.
Martin Odegaard returned to the Arsenal lineup in the last game and should keep his place in midfield. He is expected to be joined by Declan Rice and Leandro Trossard in the Gunners’ engine room.
As a holding midfielder, Rice will look to set the tempo of the game with his passing, tackling and leadership. Odegaard and Trossard must take responsibility for helping Arsenal dominate possession and creating chances in the final third for the forwards.
Despite scoring the winner late on against Brentford, Kai Havertz could start on the bench again.
Mikel Arteta may not risk Gabriel Jesus twice in quick succession following his recent recovery from a hamstring concern, so Eddie Nketiah could get a chance to lead the attack against Lens. Up top, Nketiah will rely on Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka’s creative support from wide areas of the pitch.
Fabio Vieira, Jorginho and Havertz could be involved at some point in the second half of the game.
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