Arsenal’s current season hinges on their performance in the Europa League and the Gunners have one foot in the semi-finals after their first-leg win at the Emirates. They secured a comfortable 4-1 win as Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette scored a brace each. CSKA Moscow needs something special and it’s highly unlikely but football is a funny game and Moscow might still be hoping for a miracle.
Arsenal are off the pace in the top four race in the Premier League and they can only qualify for Champions League Football by virtue of winning the Europa League. Even though Arsenal are in a strong position, they are expected to go in with their full strength team’
Here’s how they will most likely line up.
David Ospina is out of the clash as he is down with an ankle sprain. Petr Cech will start in goal and he will be protected by the likes of Monreal, Mustafi, Koscielny and Bellerin in the usual back four. Mustafi has come under a lot of scrutinies after his recent performances and he will be looking to prove his doubters wrong.
Arsenal has had issues at the back this season as they have leaked in poor goals throughout their campaign. Their performance against relegation-threatened Southampton was poor in the weekend. They scraped through a 3-2 win but their defensive performance left a lot to be desired for.
Ramsey and Xhaka will be playing in an anchor role where Ramsey will have the freedom to go up front and make those runs in the box. He was brilliant in the first leg as he managed to score a brace and he easily could have scored a hattrick. Xhaka will sit back and provide defensive cover and do the dirty job. Wilshere is expected to play in the number 10 role and Mkhitaryan is expected to play on the right. Ozil will be there on the left flank but he will look to drift in the middle to influence the play more.
Like their defence, Arsenal, have faced issues in the middle of the park as well. Especially in the defensive midfield role, Xhaka has found it tough. He has shown potential but is prone to error and one cannot be so error-prone in the middle of the park as it gives the opponent a chance to counter.
With Aubameyang cup-tied, Lacazette will lead the line of attack for the Gunners.