Arsenal will play hosts to Napoli at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night hoping to get a positive result in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarterfinal tie. The Gunners come into this game at the back of a disappointing 1-0 defeat away at Everton while Napoli were also held to a frustrating 1-1 draw against Genoa at home.
Thus, neither team are firing on all cylinders and will have a chance to redeem themselves in this midweek clash. Unai Emery is expected to opt for a 3-4-1-2 formation to counter Carlo Ancelotti’s 4-4-2 set-up for the away team.
With so many well-known stars on display, this match has the makings of an exciting contest at North London.
Both Laurent Koscielny and Granit Xhaka are significant doubts for this midweek European encounter. Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Emile Smith-Rowe and Danny Welbeck remain long-term casualties for the Gunners.
Unai Emery might choose to drop Mesut Ozil for this game as he might be inclined towards establishing a more work-men like approach in his midfield.
Lorenzo Insigne and Faouzi Ghoulam should both recover in time and be fit enough to start versus the Gunners. Carlo Ancelotti has no fresh injury concerns to deal with, which will be a big boost for the Naples giants heading into this match at the Emirates Stadium.
Bernd Leno, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Nacho Monreal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Aaron Ramsey, Matteo Guendouzi, Sead Kolasinac, Alex Iwobi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette
Orestis Karnezis, Elseid Hysaj, Nikola Maksimovic, Kalidou Koulibaly, Faouzi Ghoulam, Jose Callejon, Allan, Fabian Ruiz, Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, Arkadiusz Milik
Both Lacazette and Aubameyang will need to have a productive game in the final third. The defensive performance of Mustafi and Monreal will also be integral towards determining the fate of this contest.
Karnezis is expected to be a busy keeper at the back for the visitors, so he needs to have a good game in goal. Koulibaly will also have his work cut out for him while up against the prolific duo of Aubameyang and Lacazette so Ancelotti will hope that the Senegalese defender can restrict the Arsenal attackers from scoring on Thursday.
Arsenal win – 29/20
Draw – 5/2
Napoli win – 15/8