Post the disastrous performance that was seen last week in Belarus, Unai Emery has to opt for some changes if a turnaround is to be seen. The key striker Alexandre Lacazette will not be available for the second-leg of the clash at the Emirates owing to a red card that he picked up. However, an attacking change is not the only one that needs to be made especially with a few players returning from injury.
Despite the fact that they have an EPL game versus Southampton over the weekend, Arsenal cannot let that be a factor affecting the team selection for the match against BATE. This is a crucial point for Emery’s side as a failure to win the game with a sufficient margin would mean that their hopes of winning the Europa League for a place in next year’s Champions League is over.
There could be a switch from a back three to a back four as it was observed that the former barely contributed much to the attack in last week’s game. With Hector Bellerin’s injury, the only options left for right back are Maitland-Niles- who is not a full-back in the truest sense, and Stephan Lichsteiner- who has not been in great form in the last few matches.
However, with Sokratis being back after a month-long injury, there could be some defensive reinforcement as he will aid Laurent Koscielny in the centre. Sead Kolasinac in all likelihood will maintain his position on the left once again and provide for an attacking option when needed.
After Matteo Guendouzi’s poor performance in Belarus, it will be likely that Emery would start Xhaka and Torreira together instead. This pairing has been seen to have brought some of the best performances for the London side.
With the midfield being bolstered in such a manner, punters are of the opinion that Arsenal’s chances of winning the second leg are high with the odds being 2/13 and 42/5 respectively in their favour for a win and a draw. One can choose from the best bookmakers offers for 2019 to either bet on this match or on Arsenal winning the Europa League in its entirety, the odds of which stand at 200/1.
If there is one candidate with a fixed position in the forwards for the second-leg, it would be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as Lacazette is suspended owing to a red card. The youngster Eddie Nketiah could also be an option after his recent performances for the under-23 side, however, it is unlikely that Emery would gamble on a young player.
Out wide, Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkitaryan are keeping their places in all likelihood. Denis Suarez is also a possible option with Emery believing that he could be the change that Arsenal need.
However, with his current form, it is difficult to say if he is ready for a full-time debut. One thing is clear and that is the fact that Arsenal need to stick to a system that they have been familiar with and to the players who know how to work together if they are to win the game and proceed to the next round.