Pepe in for Saka; Aubameyang To Return: Predicted Arsenal Lineup Against Olympiacos

Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are in line to return to starting XI while Bukayo Saka will miss out when Arsenal play hosts to Olympiacos on Thursday evening.

Mikel Arteta’s & co. will be aiming to book their place in the Uefa Europa League quarter-finals when they play hosts to Olympiacos at the Emirates in the round of 16 second-leg on Thursday evening.

And, ahead of latest fixture, Mikel Arteta has one fresh injury concern to deal with. Starlet Bukayo Saka is expected to be preserved after he sustained a hamstring injury at weekend against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

The England international, who regarded as Arsenal’s best player so far this season, with six goals and six assists is the only player who will be unavailable for Arsenal against Olympiacos.

In Saka’s potential absence, Nicolas Pepe, who made impact off the bench against Spurs, playing the ball through for Lacazette in the build-up to the penalty, is likely to come in on the right flank.

Emile Smith-Rowe, who made impressive returned to action in Sunday’s north London derby win over Spur, will continuing on the left-wing while Martin Odegaard should reprise the no. 10 role once again.

But in front of him, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should come in for Alexandre Lacazette after missing the last game due to disciplinary reasons. According to Gunner boss, the situation has been resolved and Gabon international is expected to lead his side attacking lineup against Olympiacos on Thursday evening.

The 31-year-old, who scored 14 goals across all competitions this season, was left on the bench during the north London derby after turning up late for the game in what was viewed as a breach of pre-match protocol.

When asked about Aubameyang situation, Arteta said: ‘We talked, everything has been resolved in a really positive way so we move forward. It was dealt with on the day, its been resolved in a really positive way and we move on.’

In midfield park, Dani Ceballos should be handed a start in the double pivot, with Thomas Partey being due a rest. The Spaniard should start alongside Mohamed Elneny in middle of the park, with Granit Xhaka being a backup option on the bench.

As for defence, a couple of changes are expected. Hector Bellerin should replace Cedric Soares at right-back but left-back Kieran Tierney will remains on the left flank.

At the heart of the Arsenal defence, Rob Holding should replace David Luiz at centre-back, partner with Pablo Mari, who expected to come in for Gabriel Magalheas. Finally, in goal, there is no looking past Bernd Leno.

Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Ceballos, Elneny; Pepe, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang

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