Arsenal FC Starting XI Prediction at Benfica (Europa League)

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Arsenal are back in European competition as they take on Benfica in their round of 32 UEFA Europa League clash. Given what we know about the team news situation, how will manager Mikel Arteta look to rotate his team?

The Gunners tasted some success over the weekend as they beat Leeds United in the league, giving them a much needed boost in morale. They have a really tough game against the Portuguese giants tomorrow night and getting a good result will be important. If they are able to get a goal or two, early on in this clash, it will significantly boost their chances heading into next week’s reverse fixture.

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There aren’t likely to be many changes to the team as they will likely line up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation with Bernd Leno in goal. This will see Hector Bellerin start as the right back, and the North London club will be happy to welcome Kieran Tierney back on the left.

In the centre of defence, there is likely to be one change, with Rob Holding replacing David Luiz. The Englishman will be partnered with Gabriel.

The defence needs to be focused, at all times, as Benfica have some dangerous players such as Pizzi and Haris Seferovic.

In midfield, Thomas Partey remains unavailable for this game which will see Arteta go with the duo of Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka. They know each other’s game very well and that will make it difficult for the hosts to control the game.

The passing combination between these two will be crucial for the Emirates club in helping break down the opposition defence. Ahead of them, there is going to be one change with Martin Odegaard dropping to the bench. Nicolas Pepe will come and slot in on the left wing which will allow Bukayo Saka to start on the right.

Emile Smith-Rowe will take his usual place in the centre of this trio where he will be tasked with creating chances for the attackers.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be the starting striker for Arsenal following his hattrick against Leeds. He is full of confidence and will be looking to improve his Europa League tally. If he gets a few chances, he is surely going to score and that will give the Gunners an advantage heading into the second leg.

uefa europa league

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

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

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  1. Odegard must start

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