Arsenal host CSKA Moscow in the first-leg of the Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night. The Gunners secured their fourth victory on the bounce as they beat Stoke City by a 3-0 scoreline, and they will be aiming to use the momentum to outclass their Russian counterparts at the Emirates Stadium.
David Ospina has been the Gunners’ first-choice goalkeeper for the Europa League, having featured in eight of the club’s 10 matches this term. The Colombia international is a strong contender to start between the sticks with Petr Cech nursing a Pelvic injury.
Likewise, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal are expected to retain their right and left-back positions from the weekend win over Stoke, though we predict one change in the central defensive department. Laurent Koscielny was an unused substitute during the Potters game, but the Frenchman should get the nod over Rob Holding to partner Shkodran Mustafi.
Onto the midfield, Granit Xhaka should return to the starting lineup in place of Mohamed Elneny, who had a solid game on Sunday. The Swiss international brings the Gunners attackers into play with his precise passing, and he is likely to be accompanied by Aaron Ramsey, who is a potent threat to the opposition with his tireless runs into the box.
Further forward, Jack Wilshere has been the preferred choice to slot in the central attacking midfield role, and Arsene Wenger may not change things for midweek. Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan should flank the Englishman with the latter, having come up with a positive influence off the bench last weekend.
Alexandre Lacazette looked sharp during his 30-minute appearance versus the Potters, and we are anticipating him to start his first European game of the campaign. The Frenchman returned to scoring ways with a penalty goal on his injury comeback.