Benfica v Arsenal Updated Team News & Predicted XI

Arsenal are set to take on Benfica in Rome this evening, in what will be considered the away leg of our Europa League tie.

While the away leg is usually the tougher leg, the shift to neutral stadiums gives the home team more of a disadvantage in trying to avoid conceding those crucial away goals.

The Gunners will make the trip with almost a full squad of options available also.

Mikel Arteta has admitted that Kieran Tierney has returned to full training this week and was able to make the trip, while the only man left behind in England was Thomas Partey.

MA told his pre-match press conference (via Arsenal.com): “Thomas didn’t travel. He’s not there yet, he’s still training individually. Kieran has had one session with us and is part of the squad.”

The only other player unavailable it Runar Alex Runarsson, who was replaced in our Europa quota by Mat Ryan in January.

Predicted Arsenal XI:

Leno
Bellerin Holding Luiz Tierney
Ceballos Xhaka
Pepe Smith Rowe Aubameyang
Lacazette

I know, I know, Bukayo Saka is the all-important name missing from the starting XI, but something tells me that he will be starting on the bench tonight. The fact that he played the full 90 minutes on Sunday, while Smith Rowe played just over an hour, tells me the latter is the most likely to feature.

Nicolas Pepe has been much-improved in recent months, and has already shown he can be very effective in the Europa League group stages, and I expect he will get the nod also.

Will the manager opt to rotate the team or could he even play the same line-up as he did versus Leeds?

Patrick

Tags Benfica Europa League

11 Comments

  1. Harrison Lee says:

    with what happened last time against Olympiacos I think Arteta will stick to the winning team against Leeds though I expect Tierney and chambers there.

  2. adajim says:

    i hope Saka start from the bench . i think he deserve a rest, same with ESR, i hope to see martineli.
    Leno/Ryan
    Bel Gab Hold Ced
    Elneny Ceba
    Pepe OOd Mart
    Auba

  3. Dan kit says:

    Surely he has to field the strongest 11 available,as this is our only chance of silverware .
    What’s worrying is the continual absences of Partey and Tierney ,2 important cogs in Artetas wheel And they seem to be forever injured.let’s hope these injury worries are the last for these 2 till the end of the season .

  4. I says:

    I expect a line up of the following:

    Ryan
    Chambers. Holding. Pablo. Cedric
    El-neny. Cebalos
    Nelson. William. Pepe
    Lacazette

    Rowe and Saka need to be rested as I expect the other players to cope without them against Benfica.

  5. S.J says:

    Lacazette.

    Martinelli. Odegaard. Pepe.

    Xhaka. Ceballos.

    Cedric. Luiz. Holding. Bellerin.

    Ryan.

    1. Eche says:

      Nice lineup but Leno over Ryan.

  6. PJ-SA says:

    I hope Martinelli starts, the logic from most people here is that is why Willian came on from the bench instead of him in the last game.

    1. Benjamin says:

      Yeah

  7. Declan says:

    Pepe has only improved since playing on the left wing so I don’t expect to see him on the right wing tonight.

  8. Vinod says:

    Leno
    Bellerin Holding Luiz Cedric
    Ceballos Xhaka
    Saka ESR Pepe
    Laca

    Tierney for Cedric, Elneny for Ceballos, Willian for Saka, Odegaard for ESR, Martinelli for Pepe (5 subs allowed in UEL as well right?)

  9. Benjamin says:

    Leno
    Tir gab David Cedric
    Xhaka elneny Ceb
    Ødegard saka martinelli
    Lacazete

Comments are closed

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