Arsenal’s hopes of securing a Champions League spot were decimated with their disappointing draw against Brighton and Hove Albion in their last match in the Premier League. Now the North London club’s hopes of making it to the premier club competition for the next season rests on their performance in the Europa League as they take on Valencia in the second leg of the semifinal matchup.
The Gunners secured a 3-1 win over the Spanish side in the first leg that was played at the Emirates Stadium and are in an advantageous position going into the second leg. However, their performance in the away games has been a problematic area for the north London club this season, and Unai Emery’s men have to be careful about not repeating their mistakes at the Mestalla in their next match.
Except for the likes Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Aaron Ramsey, Denis Suarez and Danny Welbeck, who are ruled out for the rest of the season; Unai Emery has no further injuries to be concerned with ahead of the critical match.
Petr Cech did an excellent job against Valencia in the first leg at home and is expected to start in the goal for the second leg as well.
The onus to stabilise the backline will rest upon the shoulders of Laurent Koscielny, and he will be assisted by the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos. Arsenal have not been able to perform as per expectations throughout the season. The trio needs to step up and cut out any mistake in the second leg and ensure safe passage for the Gunners into the final.
Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka are expected to start in the central midfield while Lucas Torreira starts on the bench for the Gunners. Ainsley Maitland-Niles would begin in the right wing back position while Sead Kolasinac would put in a shift from the left-hand side. Mesut Ozil did a decent job in the first leg playing as the attacking midfielder right behind the two strikers, and he would start in the same position in the next match as well.
The duo of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had an excellent outing in the first leg as they both got their names on the scoresheet. They will look to keep their run in form intact as they lead the line for the Gunners in the next match as well.
Predicted Formation: (3-4-1-2)
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