Arsenal Starting XI Prediction vs Benfica (Europa League)

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Arsenal will welcome Benfica to the Emirates on Thursday in what is arguably their most important game of the season. Given what we know of the team news now, will manager Mikel Arteta be making many changes to his team for this round of 32 clash?

But they do have a chance to get some silverware in Europe with the Europa League on the line. The North Londoners could not get the win in the first leg, but they did manage a crucial away goal.

This will give them some confidence heading into Thursday and they will be hoping to prevent a repeat of the mistakes they made last week. Arteta will be sticking to the 4-2-3-1 formation with Bernd Leno in goal.

There is likely to be just one change made to the defence. David Luiz will come in place of Rob Holding who had to be substituted against City with a concussion. He will be partnered with his countryman Gabriel. As for the full backs, it will be the usual duo of Hector Bellerin on the right and Kieran Tierney on the left.

Dani Ceballos was on the bench on Sunday, but will be starting here given the doubts over the availability of Thomas Partey. His partner will be Granit Xhaka and these two will have a crucial role to play in determining the course of the game.

Ahead of them, we are going to be seeing Emile Smith-Rowe coming back into the team as the youngster will be starting as the central attacking midfielder.

On the wings, it will be Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka. This will give the Emirates club some pace and skill which will be needed to breach the Benfica defence.

Leading the line for Arsenal will be captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. He did not have a good game in the first leg and will be looking to make amends this time round. If he gets among the goals, it will improve the chances of Arteta’s men moving on to the next round.

A win won’t be easy, but it is necessary in order for the team’s season to survive.

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Predicted Arsenal Starting XI Against Benfica (4-2-3-1):

Bernd Leno, Hector Bellerin, David Luiz, Gabriel, Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe, Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

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