Arsenal used the Europa League as a chance to play the younger players in the group stages, but it’s starting to get more serious as they reach the latter stages.
It’s their last real chance of silverware this season and winning the competition would result in a return to the Champions League, so Mikel Arteta needs to go all out to win it.
They do have some bad memories against Olympiacos after being knocked out last year but they should win the tie if they play well, and it appears that Mikel Arteta is putting out his strongest side tonight:
? Tonight's @EuropaLeague team news!
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 11, 2021
Pepe or Lacazette may feel they deserve to play over Willian but it’s a strong looking side, and Granit Xhaka keeps his place despite his blunder at the weekend.
The main talk from the fans is focussed on the choices over Willian and Pepe, and there is clearly some frustration in that Arteta takes any excuse to include Willian in the team yet he’s happy to drop Pepe at any given opportunity:
Pepe has faced so much criticism and man be stepping up his game lately only to be on the bench for Willian.
— Sonnie (@IamSonnie) March 11, 2021
What has Willian done to start over Pepe, ESR & Martinelli?? Every time Arteta fails it’s usually his own fault, that’s why I cba to defend him when we lose https://t.co/zkTzY3NzPo
— Gavan (@Gavan_Sanghera) March 11, 2021
think people see that no matter how well pepe plays arteta can’t wait to dump him, whereas willian gets opportunities all the time
— steven kelly (@stevenmkelly) March 6, 2021
Arteta likes certain players more than others, there's nothing more to it than that. Low block this tactics that ?
Should still put them away though https://t.co/Mg7hcVSJw4
— Chiddy ?? (@chiddyafc) March 11, 2021
Willian just needs one good game to get consecutive runs in the team but pepe always gets dropped whenever he’s in form
— S? (@AFCSmit) March 11, 2021
It’s a confirmation bias. Arteta started the season believing that Willian was better than Pepe.
He then ignores the evidence of Pepe vs Willian’s performances, inserting Willian back in the starting line-up because it confirms what he originally thought.
— rolandomnes (@rolandomnes) March 11, 2021