Arsenal vs Olympiacos preview | Confirmed team news | Expected line-ups | Prediction
Arsenal take on Olympiacos in the Europa League last-16 this evening. Here is our preview with team news, line-ups and prediction
Arsenal welcome Olympiacos to the Emirates for the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie this evening [5.55 kick-off].
The Gunners secured a 3-1 victory in the first leg last week in Greece with Martin Odegaard, Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny scoring the all-important goals to put the north Londoners in pole position.
Mikel Arteta will be keen to finish the job to book Arsenal’s place in the quarter-finals and avoid a repeat of last year’s shock home defeat which saw Olympiacos progress on away goals following a 2-1 win at the Emirates.
Arsenal head into this game off the back of a vital 2-1 comeback victory over Tottenham on Sunday but despite the North London Derby win they still sit way down in 10th position in the Premier League table.
With the Gunners facing a tough battle to finish in the top six, the Europa League is arguably their best chance to salvage something from the season and ensure they’ll be playing European football again next year.
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped for the win over Tottenham after being disciplined by Arteta for turning up late for the pre-match meeting, however, the striker is expected to be recalled this evening.
Bukayo Saka is a major doubt for the game after being forced off at half-time on Sunday with a thigh muscle injury. Arteta will make a late decision over Saka’s involvement but the Spanish coach is unlikely to risk the youngster.
Otherwise, Arsenal have a fully-fit squad to choose from and Arteta is expected to make a few changes with the likes of Hector Bellerin, Pablo Mari, Mohamed Elneny, Dani Ceballos, Willian and Nicolas Pepe pushing for recalls.
Olympiacos have a number of injury issues as defenders Ruben Semedo, Avraam Papadopoulos and Ousseynou Ba all remain on the sidelines. Sokratis will start against his former club with Yann M’Vila playing as a make-shift centre-back.
Kenny Lala, Oleg Reabciuk, Mady Camara, El Arabi and Mathieu Valbuena are all set for recalls after being rested at the weekend.
Olympiacos XI: Sa; Lala, Sokratis, M’Vila, Reabciuk; Camara, Bouchalakis; Bruma, Valbuena, Masouras; El Arabi
Arsenal 3-1 Olympiacos: Arsenal have lost their last two home games against Olympiacos but we can’t see history repeating itself for a third time this evening. The Gunners were comfortable for long periods in Greece and were by far the better team so it would be a real shock if they didn’t finish the job on home soil.
Even if Arteta rests a few players for Sunday’s Premier League trip to West Ham, Arsenal should still be strong enough to win this game. We’re predicting a 3-1 win for the Londoners which would see them progress to the quarters 6-2 on aggregate.
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