Arsenal will be looking to avoid another second leg Europa League embarrassment at the hands of Olympiakos on Thursday evening. Can the Gunners banish memories from 12 months ago?
Europa League Preview
Arsenal are in a much stronger position coming into the second leg against their Greek opponents than they were in the Europa League in 2019-20. Memories of that fateful night at the Emirates, which saw Arsenal knocked out in extra time against the Greek side were still fresh going into the first leg, but they looked to put them behind them with a commanding away success last week. Arsenal were strong from start to finish in that game, and there is certainly an impression that Mikel Arteta’s side have turned a corner over recent weeks. There were two sensational goals in that first leg success, with Martin Odegaard opening the scoring with a record after 34 minutes. Mohamed Elmeny ensured that the advantage was a healthy one by scoring a cracking third with five minutes remaining. Gabriel scored the second goal in the game to cap another strong display by the Brazilian central defender.
Going to the Emirates with a disadvantage didn’t phase Olympiakos 12 months ago, but they will be aware that this is a completely different proposition this time around. They were able to at least get a goal in the first leg defeat, with Youssef El-Arabi scoring early in the second half. But, that was just one of two shots on target that the Greek side had in the game. Arsenal managed Olympiakos’ attacking threat excellently in the first leg, and that will not bold well for their chances back at the Emirates on Thursday evening.
Arsenal vs Olympiakos Team News
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped for the Gunners in midweek for disciplinary reasons, but he should be back in their eleven this weekend. However, Bukayo Saka will not be in the eleven, as he is a doubt after suffering a hamstring injury in the North London derby. Fortunately for Olympiakos they will come into the second leg with no fresh injury concerns.
Arsenal vs Olympiakos Prediction
Of course, the second leg will still live in the memory for Arsenal ahead of the second leg, but it would be unthinkable for them to throw away the advantage they achieved last week. The Gunners should sail through to the next round with a comfortable home success.
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