Arsenal will be looking to progress to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League when they face Greek outfit Olympiacos in the second-leg of their last-16 showdown at the Emirates Stadium this evening, kick-off 5:55pm.
The Gunners, who came from a goal down to beat north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon, have a 3-1 advantage from the first-leg in Athens last week.
Goals from Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Magalhaes and Mohamed Elneny sealed a superb away triumph for the Gunners, meaning they are in a very strong position ahead of tonight’s second-leg in north London.
Tonight’s clash with the Greek giants is likely to bring memories of last season’s meeting between the two clubs back for the Gunners as Olympiacos knocked Mikel Arteta’s side out of the competition at the last-32 stage, despite the Gunners having won the first-leg.
With that in mind, Arsenal will be fully aware that the tie is far from over, despite having a two-goal advantage and having scored three away goals.
And for Arteta, who has seen his side win eight of the nine matches they have played in the Europa League this season, the contest is far from concluded.
Asked if the tie was wrapped up during Wednesday’s pre-match press conference, Arteta said: “Absolutely not.
“From what I’ve seen from Olympiacos, and the amount of games that they have won in the last minutes and the belief that they have in that team, it will be tough and they will try to put us under pressure so still a lot to play.”
Although Arteta has insisted that the contest is not yet over between the two clubs, he has not ruled out the prospect of making changes to his team, offering opportunities to those who do not feature as regularly as they would like, especially in the Premier League.
“It’s a good time for everybody. It’s a really important game for us,” added Arteta. “Nothing has been decided, there’s still a lot to play for and we know it’s going to be tough.
“Everybody has to be ready because we have the opportunity to make changes, we have five substitutions and we will decide what is the best team to try to beat them.”
Should Arteta wish to make several changes, he has the opportunity do so as his squad is in tip-top condition.
The Gunners chief has not reported any fresh major injury troubles ahead of tonight’s game, meaning he has the chance to get a good look at some of his fringe players if he wishes to present an opportunity to them.
Issuing an update on the injury front, Arteta said: “Everybody is more or less ok. We had a few doubts, but hopefully everybody is going to be involved in the squad.”
With everyone fit and set to be available for selection, the likes of Hector Bellerin, Willian, Nicolas Pepe and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will all be pushing for starting berths after being named amongst the substitutes against Spurs.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a once-daily email, focused around goings-on at Emirates Stadium.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners – you’ll get all you need to know directly into your inbox.
We’ll also send out special newsletters with any big breaking news too.
And with the January transfer window now open there’s plenty of content to get your teeth into.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
And that’s it, you’re all set.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
For more details, click here.
Full Arsenal squad available to face Olympiacos:
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Mat Ryan & Karl Hein.
Defenders: Hector Bellerin, Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holding, David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers & Kieran Tierney.
Midfielders: Willian, Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Dani Ceballos, Mohamed Elneny, Martin Odegaard & Emile Smith Rowe.
Strikers: Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah & Gabriel Martinelli.