Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Arsenal line up for BATE Borisov, updates and Lacazette replacement.

French striker's suspension could see Unai Emery give Mesut Ozil a chance at redemption


MESUT OZIL'S opportunity to win Unai Emery over may have arrived.


Arsenal, without the suspended Alexandre Lacazette, are in need of a hero for Thursday night's must-win clash with BATE Borisov at the Emirates.

Unai Emery's first season at Arsenal could hinge on the Europa League and Thursday's clash with BATE Borisov

The Belarusian champions shocked the Gunners with a 1-0 home win last week in the first leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie.

Emery, the Europa League specialist, must see the competition as a potential back door to next season's Champions League.

And so the Spaniard will consider whether to trust Ozil for the crucial clash.

Aaron Ramsey and Sokratis Papastathopoulos are available but Emery could be without Ainsley Maitland-Niles due to illness, with Stephan Lichtsteiner ready to step in.

OPTION A: With Alexandre Lacazette suspended, Mesut Ozil could come into the starting line-up

Ozil could be the hero Emery and Arsenal need after losing the first leg in Belarus

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a doubt due to sickness

Arsenal are only one point off fourth-place Man United in the Premier League, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to have turned the Red Devils into top-four certainties.

Arsenal's season may end up hinge on tonight's game.

So the former Sevilla boss may take no risks with his selection, seeing Bernd Leno as a possible replacement for cup keeper Petr Cech.

The industrial Lucas Torreira could return to the team after starting on the bench last week.

OPTION B: Emery may opt for his strongest XI without Ozil and playing Bernd Leno

And Ramsey may prove to be the departing hero again as he prepares for his Gunners swansong.

Regardless of his team selection, Emery believes the Emirates crowd can play their part.

He said: "If we can create a big atmosphere tomorrow, then it is very important.

"The supporters want to watch our team play with the best performance possible."

Aubameyang, Guendouzi and Lacazette dance in Arsenal training as Emery's star battle to save Europa League dream

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