Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe all start for Arsenal in must win game with Slavia Prague
- UEFA Europa League
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Slavia Prague vs Arsenal
Arsenal travel to Prague for the second leg of their Europa League Quarter Final this evening knowing that winning the trophy is likely their best route into Europe next season.
Should they fail to advance it will be the first season since 1995-1996 that the club won’t compete in Europe.
They let in a last minute goal last week and this evening has the feel of being a critical one for the club and for manager Mikel Arteta. Arsenal simply have to score tonight.
Slavia Prague have an away goal! 😳
In the closing seconds at the Emirates and Tomáš Holeš heads past Bernd Leno!
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 8, 2021
We know that Martin Odegaard and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have not traveled to Prague due to injury.
The team Arsenal are sending out looks as follows.
📋 Tonight’s team news…
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 15, 2021
Mari is preferred to Gabriel in defence. Granit Xhaka continues at left back, with Callum Chambers at right back and Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe will play behind Alexander Lacazette.
Future on the line
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on the touchline during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. (Photo by Andy Rain/PA Images via Getty Images)
Arteta is acutely aware that tonight’s result is likely to impact his future at the club. He is now 18 months into his reign and of course won the FA Cup last season, but he needs a result tonight.
He said “Tangible is the right word and the only tangible thing is results. Whether you’re doing a good job or not, to judge externally is only going to be judged with results.”
“Internally, you know what you are doing and you can have many different ways of judging that but at the end of the day, externally results are the only important thing to give the perception that we are moving forward in the right direction.”