Martin Odegaard and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could miss out, but Emile Smith Rowe should return when Arsenal take on Slavia Prague on Thursday night.
Arsenal will be aiming to make it through to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League when they lock horns with Slavia Prague in the quarter-final second leg at the Sinobo Stadium.
Heading into the game, there are no fresh injury concerns for Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to contend with. However, he will once again be unable to call upon the services of David Luiz and Kieran Tierney who are out injured while Martin Odegaard and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also remain major doubts for the game, as indicated by Arteta in his presser.
“I don’t know, we have to see how they are today. Yesterday, neither of them could train. Hopefully today. It’s a sunnier day, so maybe it’s better,” the Arsenal manager said. There is some good news, though, as Emile Smith Rowe is back in full training after missing the weekend game while Bukayo Saka, who picked up a knock against Sheffield United is also fully fit as confirmed by the club’s official website.
Despite having put in a fine performance against the Blades, Arteta is expected to make a few changes to the side on Thursday night. No alterations are expected in goal, however, with Bernd Leno the undisputed starter while Rob Holding and Pablo Mari should be retained as the two centre-backs, with Gabriel Magalhaes an option from the bench.
Calum Chambers recovered from an injury recently and may not be risked in two games within a space of four days. Instead, the Englishman is likely to make way for Hector Bellerin at right-back while Cedric Soares should be reinstated at left-back after Arteta went with Granit Xhaka in the previous game.
The Switzerland international, however, is expected to return to his natural habitat of central midfield on Thursday against Slavia Prague, which would see Dani Ceballos drop out of the lineup. Thomas Partey, meanwhile, will continue to feature in the double pivot in the middle of the park for the Gunners.
The return of Smith Rowe will be a boost for Arsenal, with the youngster set to slot in as the No. 10 in Odegaard’s absence. Gabriel Martinelli had a fine game last time out, but could be overlooked on Thursday in favour of the in-form Saka and Nicolas Pepe, who is the Gunners’ leading goalscorer in the Europa League this season.
Finally, at the top, Alexandre Lacazette should get the nod after his double in the win against Sheffield United. The likes of Eddie Nketiah and Folarin Balogun could be options from the bench.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Cedric; Partey, Xhaka; Pepe, Smith Rowe, Saka; Lacazette