Alexandre Lacazette is set to return while Bukayo Saka will replace Sead Kolasinac when Arsenal take on Olympiacos in the UEFA Europa League.
Arsenal will be looking to book their place in the Last 16 stage of the UEFA Europa League when they play hosts to Olympiacos at the Emirates in the Round of 32 second leg on Thursday night. And, Mikel Arteta has a fresh injury concern to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
Sead Kolasinac sustained a shoulder injury during Arsenal’s Premier League game against Everton this past weekend and has been ruled out of the Olympiacos tie. It has been determined that the Bosnian’s injury is “significant” and he is set to miss much of the remainder of the season.
During his pre-match press conference, Arteta was asked to provide an update on Kolasinac and comment on his prospects for the rest of the season. The Arsenal manager said, “He is seeing the specialist today and we will know more this afternoon.”
“But yes, he was in pain, it’s a difficult area and we are not very positive about it. Hopefully, yes [he will play again this season]. But I don’t know. It’s depending on whether he’s dislocated it and if he needs surgery or not. We will know more this afternoon, hopefully.”
With Kieran Tierney also out unavailable due to a shoulder injury, Bukayo Saka becomes the clear replacement for Kolasinac in the left-back slot. On the opposite flank, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is likely to come into the starting lineup to face Olympiacos, after a sub-par display by Sokratis Papastathopoulos last time out.
Saka and Maitland-Niles will be joined by Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz in the backline, with the duo continuing their solid run at the heart of the Arsenal defence. In goal, Bernd Leno should get the nod once again over Emiliano Martinez, who usually starts in the Europa League.
Up ahead in midfield, with Lucas Torreira now fit and available, Granit Xhaka could be given a rest. Torreira ought to have Matteo Guendouzi for company in the double pivot.
Joe Willock should be deployed in the advanced midfield role, with Mesut Ozil not playing against Olympiacos once again, after not travelling to Piraeus last week due to personal reasons. Willock is likely to play off Alexandre Lacazette, who will lead the line for Arsenal.
The Frenchman was on target in the first leg and will be hoping to continue his fine run of form against Olympiacos. Lacazette will likely be supported by Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson, with Nicolas Pepe and Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being handed a bit of a breather.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka; Guendouzi, Torreira; Nelson, Willock, Martinelli; Lacazette