Arsenal face a tricky away tie against Bate Borisov, likely to be in subzero temperatures. Neither side has been in good form and for Arsenal a clean sheet seems almost impossible.
The Gunners will have to be alert and patient but they are likely to get the advantage in the second half against Bate Borisov.
Bate have never advanced beyond this stage and finished in second spot in group L behind Chelsea. Bate came off second best in those encounters, losing 3-1 first time out and 1-0 in their second match.
The Belarusian premier league leaders last six games included, three defeats, two draws and a solitary win, so they are hardly formidable but a game in their own backyard could prove tricky and test Arsenal’s resolve.
Aubameyang and Xhaka could feature at some point and took part in a full training session on Wednesday.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 13, 2019
Likewise, new boy, Denis Suarez, may get a cameo role of between 20 or 30 minutes if Arsenal are in a good position.
Predicted Arsenal Lineup :
It looks likely that Emery will give the veteran keeper a staring role in his final season, relying on his experience on the big stage.
He may even make him Captain the team against Bate Borisov in the absence of Ozil and Ramsey. Personally, I’d go for Leno.
Not back to his best yet but his experience will help steady the nerves and could create openings going forward.
He gets the nod because there simply isn’t anyone else. I just wish he could stay on his feet more, he spends more time on the grass that the groundsman. A solid performance is needed here.
Narrowly beaten to my man of the match by Henrikh Mkhitaryan against Huddersfield. More experience at the back and willing to put his body on the line.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles :-
Width from the back and certainly ahead of Lichsteiner, who is a liability. Not his preferred position but good experience for the youngster.
Has struggled with his role change but runs his legs off and gets involved in vital challenges that allow Arsenal to turn defence into attack.
He has his faults but at 19 years of age, he is shaping up into a very decent signing for absolute peanuts. Motivated and committed, he will push and push.
For his pace, desire and brute force, delivered a lively ball for Iwobi’s goal against Huddersfield. His physicality will cause problems.
We are starting to see the best of him, which is odd because of the recent injury.
Managed to keep us going forward against Huddersfield, always looking for opportunities, always trying to deliver to his team mates.
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Something of a marmite player but I like him. His best season so far but needs to be more confident in the final third.
Always likely to get a goal but his decision making needs some work.
I’m sure he’ll be in the lone striker mode but that won’t bother him. He’s fast, can work in space or in tight spots and is likely to fashion a goal out of nothing.
Fantastic work ethic, deserves much more credit. He’s not just about the goals.
In terms of subs, expect Suarez, Aubameyang and possibly Xhaka to feature at some point in the game against Bate Borisov.