Arsenal vs Rennes preview | Double boost for Emery | Expected line-up | Prediction
Here is our match preview ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Rennes including team news, expected line-ups and predicted score
Arsenal will be looking to turn around a 3-1 deficit when we take on Rennes in our Europa League last-16 second leg at the Emirates Stadium this evening.
We got off to the perfect start in the first leg after opening the scoring early on in France but it was hugely disappointing to see the team collapse after going down to 10-men when Sokratis was sent off just before half-time.
The 3-1 defeat has left us with a lot to do in tonight’s second leg but Unai Emery will still be confident Arsenal can turn things around as we have an excellent record on home soil this season.
A 2-0 victory over Manchester United last weekend made it eight wins from our last nine matches at the Emirates and boosted our chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League with eight games remaining.
However, winning the Europa League is also a possible route back to the Champions League and Emery will be desperate to keep our hopes alive by turning things around against Rennes to book our place in the quarter finals.
Arsenal have been boosted by the return of Henrikh Mkhitaryan after he missed the win over United with a back injury but Sokratis will miss the match after being sent off in the first leg last week.
Alexandre Lacazette is available for selection after UEFA reduced his suspension to two matches – which he’s already served – following his dismissal in the last-32 first leg against BATE Borisov.
However, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck remain long-term absentees for Arsenal and aren’t expected to play again this season.
Rennes will continue to be without right-back Romain Danze and midfielder Rafik Guitane due to injury.
Arsenal 3-0 Rennes: Arsenal need to score at least two goals in order to qualify for the last-8 and we’ve averaged 2.8 goals over our last five home matches so we should be quietly confident against Rennes tonight. They showed in France they can be a dangerous side but I thought we were controlling things before the sending off so I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t win this game. Obviously we need goals but we also need to keep a clean sheet so hopefully Emery doesn’t go too gung-ho. I’m backing Arsenal to win 3-0 to book our place in the quarter finals.
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