The Arsenal lineup that should start against Slavia Prague

14 April 2021 07:15

Arsenal return to Europa League action on Thursday night, travelling to Slavia Prague to play out the second leg of their quarter-final tie, with the aggregate score finely balanced at 1-1.

The Gunners finally got back to winning ways last time out, securing their first victory in five matches courtesy of a convincing 3-0 beating of Sheffield United. Alexandre Lacazette returned to the scoresheet with a brace, while Gabriel Martinelli also notched at Bramall Lane. That win still leaves them ten points off the Premier League's top four, meaning Europa League success is their only path to Champions League football next season.

Slavia Prague have continued their sensational domestic form since the first leg, beating city rivals Sparta to move 17 points clear of them at the summit of the Czech First League.

So, to progress past a tough Slavia Prague, here's the Arsenal lineup that should start on Thursday night.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Hector Bellerin played the first leg between the two sides | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Bernd Leno (GK) - Has not kept a clean sheet in the Europa League so far this season but is firmly Arteta's number one choice between the sticks.

Hector Bellerin (RB) - Didn't feature last time out but should come back in for Calum Chambers to provide impetus going forward.

Rob Holding (CB) - Has become a regular in the Arsenal side under Arteta and some bright performances of late should see him in the starting lineup for Thursday night's clash.

Gabriel (CB) - Premier League appearances have been fairly sporadic for the 23-year old recently, but he hasn't missed a knockout game of this season's Europa League, so should start once again.

Cedric Soares (LB) - Was bright when surging forward up the left in the first leg, so could return to the side to replicate that threat.

2. Midfielders

Granit Xhaka has been a leader in the Arsenal team of late | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Granit Xhaka (CM) - Played left-back against Sheffield United but should come back into the heart of the team to provide the drive and bite he has demonstrated so well recently.

Thomas Partey (CM) -
Finally getting a good, injury-free run of games for the Gunners and has shown glimpses of why Arteta has put his faith in him - a match-winning performance on Thursday will go a long way to winning over the Arsenal faithful.

Emile Smith Rowe (AM) -
With Martin Odegaard's availability not yet confirmed, Smith Rowe will likely jump back into the side to provide creative spark in advanced areas.

3. Forwards

Nicolas Pepe (RW) - Grabbed a lovely goal to open the scoring in the first leg and, with his seven goal contributions in the tournament so far, should start the second leg.

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) - Notched a brace last time out and seems to playing with confidence at the moment. Will need to be on top from as the onus to score is on Arsenal.

Bukayo Saka (LW) - Like Smith Rowe, Saka is fit enough to return to the side. Has been one of the Gunners' most valuable players all season and can be the difference on any given day.

Source: 90min