Arsenal vs Napoli predictions: Arsenal line-up
After a disappointing performance at the weekend against Everton, Arsenal host Serie A giants Napoli in the Europa League on Thursday. The Gunners will be looking to continue their outstanding form at the Emirates where they have lost just 3 games in all competitions since the start of the season.
The importance of the Europa League has increased massively after Sunday’s slip up at Goodison Park dropped the Gunners out of the top four in the league.
Laurent Koscielny is a massive doubt for the game against Napoli on Thursday but Granit Xhaka is expected to recover from his groin problem.
Lucas Torreira has sat out the last three Premier League games due to suspension but the Uruguayan is eligible for the Europa League tie in the midweek.
Long-term absentees Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck are all ruled out but the latter has started running again, which is a good sign for the Gunners.
Probable Arsenal XI
Manager: Unai Emery
Petr Cech (GK)
The veteran has cemented his place in the Europa League and he has to have a good game to deny Napoli’s dangerous forwards.
Shkodran Mustafi (CB)
The German, like the rest of his team, was poor against Everton but he will have to be at his best on Thursday, especially if Koscielny is unavailable.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos (CB)
The former Dortmund man is suspended for the next two Premier League games due to his accumulation of yellow cards but his presence and leadership in Arsenal’s backline will be massively important if the Gunners are to get a result.
Nacho Monreal (CB)
The Spaniard had one of his worst games in an Arsenal shirt against the Toffees but he has the ability to pick himself up and produce a brilliant performance on Thursday.
Ainsley Maitland Niles (RWB)
The youngster faced a lot of trouble against Bernard on Sunday and it won’t get any easier when he is up against Lorenzo Insigne on Thursday. The 21-year-old will have to be at his best to deny the Italian and his forward runs should be on point to help the Gunners up front.
Lucas Torreira (CM)
The former Sampdoria man has played against Napoli a number of times before and he will be looking to prove a point against them after his time out of the squad in recent weeks.
Aaron Ramsey (CM)
The Welshman came off the bench at half time on Sunday and had a positive impact at the start before fading off. He should return to the starting line-up against Napoli on Thursday.
Sead Kolasinac (LWB)
The Bosnian has struggled to make an impact in recent games but his bombarding runs down the left flank can hurt Carlo Ancelotti’s side and he should start on Thursday.
Mesut Ozil (CAM)
The German struggled to find space against a compact Everton side but he will be looking to bring out his best performance against Napoli like he did all those years ago when he scored his first goal for the club against them.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (ST)
Arsenal’s top scorer this season will be looking to add to his tally of 22 goals and his performance up top could determine the game on Thursday.
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Alexandre Lacazette (ST)
The Frenchman struggled to have an impact on Everton despite his best effort but he is sure to find some space against an attacking Napoli side. His chemistry with Aubameyang has been a joy to watch and the duo should look to link up and cause havoc in Napoli’s defence on Thursday.