Europa League football is upon us tonight and we have the return leg against Olympiacos at The Emirates. Last week’s game finished 1-0 to us and having scored an all important away goal we’ll be looking to add more to our tally and not concede (obviously).
I’m sure North London has a fair amount of Olympiacos supporters in residence and so the stadium should be packed and rocking for this game. Night-time football is so special and even though it’s not the Champions League, a European game under the lights has that inspiring feel about it. Now that we’re in the knock out stages of the competition there will also be a nervous edge. With the big prize of Champions League football for the winner of this competition every care must be taken to progress.
This was Arteta’s response when asked about how important European football was to the club and whether it affected his team selection.
“We have three different routes to Europe. We have to try to maximise the three of them and we go game by game,” he said.
“That’s all we can do at the moment because the objectives are still so far behind.”
It’s quite difficult to predict Mikel’s line up for games now that we know that he chooses players on their performance in training rather than reputation. I’m hoping that Saka managed some rest after Sunday but was also able to impress Arteta so that he is included tonight. We are short of left-backs now that Kolasinac is injured too.
Tonight I would hope to see Pepe, Martinelli and Lacazette ……… so how does he fit Aubameyang in?
Bellerin should return at right-back with Mustafi (first name on the team sheet after recent performances) and Luiz paired at centre-back.
Torreira should start alongside Xhaka with hopefully Ozil just behind the front three. Only who will the front three be? The FA Cup game on Monday could see some of these rested so lets play the best team tonight and progress in the competion.
Here’s my stab at a team …….
Bellerin Mustafi Luiz Saka
Pepe Lacazette Aubameyang
It’s snowing heavily out of my window which is not great but according to all sources it’ll stop by midday. I’m looking forward to the game.