Arsenal make the long trip to Russia to face CSKA Moscow in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie. The Gunners already have a stronghold in the fixture after securing a 4-1 triumph at the Emirates Stadium, but they need to guard against complacency on the road, where they have attained mixed results this term.
The Gunners have been woeful on their travels in the Premier League this season with just three victories in 15 matches, but their European form has been better with four wins from their five away trips.
David Ospina has been sidelined for at least a couple of weeks with a knee problem, and this should witness Petr Cech start his second European game on the trot. The veteran goalkeeper has had a tough time between the sticks with just one clean sheet since the turn of the year.
In defence, Arsene Wenger should go with the preferred pairing of Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal in the right and left-back positions respectively whilst Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi should partner once more at the heart of the defence. Koscielny has been rested for recent Premier League games, and much of this has been done to keep him unscathed.
In midfield, Granit Xhaka has been a constant presence under Wenger, and the Swiss international can be fancied to take up one of the central positions. Alongside him, we are fancying Jack Wilshere to start, given the Englishman is a better tackler by trade when compared to Aaron Ramsey, who is more pronounced for his contribution higher up the field.
With Henrikh Mkhitaryan sidelined with a knee problem, Danny Welbeck is probably a strong candidate to start on the left side of the attack after his match-winning brace versus Southampton. Aside from him, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are certain candidates to feature, and they could slot into the number 10 and right-wing positions respectively.
Alexandre Lacazette scored twice during his first European outing of the season last week, and the Frenchman will be hoping to continue this run in Moscow, where the Gunners failed to score in their previous trip, more than 10 years ago. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains ineligible to participate in the competition owing to Borussia Dortmund’s involvement in the same this season.
Predicted Arsenal lineup (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal; Granit Xhaka, Jack Wilshere; Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck; Alexandre Lacazette