Aubameyang dropped, Martinelli starts : 4-2-3-1 Predicted team vs Benfica
The Gunners are set to conclude their round of 32 tie in the Europa League against Benfica on Thursday, as they look to secure a spot in the last 16 stage of the competition.
Mikel Arteta’s men were beaten on Sunday by Manchester City in the Premier League, only a couple of days after a 1-1 draw against Benfica in the first leg of the Europa League tie.
In goal, Leno is expected to retain his spot while the ever-changing back four infront of the shot-stopper should consist of Tierney, Luiz, Gabriel and Bellerin.
The choices at full-back are a no-brainer but the centre-back partnership should feature the Brazilian pair, who have been in solid form when paired on a couple of ocassions this term.
In midfield, Dani Ceballos should come in – to partner Xhaka – and provide some forward-thinking passes and movement in a game which the Gunners certainly have to win.
Saka and Smith-Rowe should be the creative force sitting infront of the midfield while Martinelli returns to replace the often erratic Pepe.
Aubameyang has looked jaded in the past couple of games and his streak of misses in the first leg of this tie was a clear sign of that. Lacazette was in decent form prior to the Gabon star’s return and therefore the Frenchman should be given the chance that he deserves to lead the line.
Bellerin – Luiz – Gabriel – Tierney
Xhaka – Ceballos
Martinelli – Smith-Rowe – Saka