[Teams] Arsenal vs Benfica: Confirmed line-ups for Europa League clash
Arsenal will be looking to book their place in the last-16 of the Europa League when they take on Benfica this evening [17.55 kick-off].
Mikel Arteta has made some changes from the side that lost to Manchester City at the weekend as Gabriel comes in for Pablo Mari in the middle of defence while David Luiz is recalled in place of Rob Holding – who’s ruled out due to concussion.
Bernd Leno keeps his place in goal for Arsenal while Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin retain their places in the full-back positions so Cedric Soares has to settle for a place among the substitutes this evening.
Thomas Partey returns to the Arsenal squad after recovering from a hamstring injury that’s hampered him recently, however, with just a couple of full training sessions under his belt, the Ghanaian international isn’t risked from the start. Therefore, Dani Ceballos is recalled to start alongside Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park with Mohamed Elneny joining Partey on the bench.
Emile Smith Rowe is recalled after being rested at the weekend while Bukayo Saka keeps his place in attack. Martin Odegaard makes a fourth start in a row for Arsenal so it’s Nicolas Pepe who drops out this evening.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be desperate to make amends for his costly misses in the first leg and the Gabon hitman leads the line up front once again today so Alexandre Lacazette has to settle for a place on the bench.
Gabriel Martinelli is once again overlooked so he has to make-do with a place among the Arsenal substitutes and he’s joined by the likes of Eddie Nketiah, Willian and Callum Chambers.
Here are the confirmed line-ups:
Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Ceballos; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang
Subs: Ryan, Hein, Lacazette, Willian, Cedric, Partey, Pepe, Chambers, Mari, Elneny, Nketiah, Martinelli.
Hélton Leite; Diogo Gonçalves, Vertonghen, Otamendi, Veríssimo, Grimaldo; Rafa Silva, Weigl, Pizzi, Taarabt; Seferovic.
Subs: Svilar, Odysseas, Gilberto, Nuno Tavares, Everton, Gabriel, Chiquinho, Pedrinho, Cervi, Waldschmidt, Gonçalo Ramos, Darwin.
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