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How Arsenal could line up against Slavia Prague

How Arsenal could line up against Slavia Prague
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Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at how Arsenal could line up for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final clash with Slavia Prague.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will hope to have both Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe available for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final clash with Slavia Prague on Thursday night.

The English youngsters both sat out the defeat to Liverpool with minor injuries, but both Saka and Smith Rowe have now returned to training and should be given the green light to feature this week.

Saka's potential inclusion could see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dropped from the side after another poor performance at the weekend, so Saka could be given the nod on the right as Nicolas Pepe aims to build on his impressive Europa League tally from the left.

Granit Xhaka is aiming to return after coming down with illness before the visit of Liverpool, and Dani Ceballos endured a miserable night in the Gunners' midfield, so Thomas Partey could find himself alongside Mohamed Elneny, who has notched up a couple of long-range thunderbolts in this season's tournament.

Arteta's nightmare at the weekend continued with Kieran Tierney limping off with a knee problem, and while it remains to be seen how serious the issue is, he is certainly not expected to feature in this game.

As a result, Cedric Soares could deputise on the left as Hector Bellerin replaces Calum Chambers on the right, but Arteta's defensive options are further depleted by the knee injury to David Luiz, who has since undergone surgery.

Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding's spots are both at risk after shipping three goals to the champions at the weekend, but Pablo Mari was hardly any better in the first half against West Ham United, so Arteta may be reluctant to chop and change his centre-backs.

Martin Odegaard has also emerged as a doubt as the ankle injury he sustained on international duty has flared up, but he will certainly start if fit.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric; Partey, Elneny; Saka, Odegaard, Pepe; Lacazette

> Click here to see how Slavia Prague could line up for this clash

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Kieran Tierney limps off injured during Arsenal's game against Liverpool in the Premier League on April 3, 2021
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Arsenal's Kieran Tierney suffers knee injury in Liverpool defeat
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