Hector Bellerin and Dani Ceballos are set to return, while Thomas Partey will be rested when Arsenal face Olympiacos in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
Arsenal will be hoping to exact a bit of revenge on Olympiacos for last season’s ouster from the UEFA Europa League when the two sides lock horns at the Karaiskakis Stadium on Thursday night. And, Mikel Arteta does not have any fresh injury concerns to deal with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The only players Arteta has been sweating over are Runar Alex Runarsson and Emile Smith Rowe. Both Runarsson and Smith Rowe are inching closer to their returns, with the Arsenal boss also providing an update on the latter during his pre-match press conference.
Arteta said, “Yes, he’s close to returning and he’s going to have a full session today to see if he can be involved in tomorrow’s game. After training we will know exactly where we are with him.”
Judging by Arteta’s comments, it seems like Smith Rowe is likelier to make an appearance in the Arsenal starting lineup on the weekend than this midweek. Instead, against Olympiacos, he could come off the bench, meaning Martin Odegaard should reprise the no. 10 role once again in Arteta’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.
The attack, though, should see once change, with Nicolas Pepe coming in for Willian on the left wing. Bukayo Saka is expected to retain his place on the right flank, while captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should continue to lead the line for Arsenal against Olympiacos, with Alexandre Lacazette being an option off the bench.
As for midfield, Granit Xhaka is likely to keep hold of his place in the double pivot despite his calamitous display against Burnley this past weekend. The former Arsenal captain, though, is set for a change of partners, with Dani Ceballos coming in for Thomas Partey, who will be given a bit of a breather. At the back, two more changes are in the offing.
Hector Bellerin has been in and out of the starting lineup lately, but should make his return versus Olympiacos, with Calum Chambers making way. The other shuffle should see Gabriel Magalhaes start in place of Pablo Mari, pairing up with David Luiz at the heart of the Arsenal defence. Kieran Tierney is a certainty as the left-back, while Bernd Leno keeps his place in goal.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Pepe; Aubameyang