In a strange way Arsenal can take confidence from their lacklustre display last time out against Slavia Prague, as they have to know they can play so much better.
Slavia will go into the game with the away goal advantage so the onus is on Arsenal to make things happen, while Mikel Arteta will be expecting his team to take control of the game early on.
This is one of their biggest games of the season so there’s no time for rotation now, but they’ve had a few injury issues during the week with Odegaard and Aubameyang struggling to get fit for this one.
READ MORE: Video: Horrible injury luck continues for Slavia Prague as keeper dislocates his shoulder ahead of Arsenal clash
In the end neither player was fit enough to even make the squad tonight, so this is going to be a game where someone else will need to step up and be the hero:
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) April 15, 2021
There is a running joke now about Gabriel Martinelli and fans who are wondering what he actually needs to do to get into the starting XI, so there are a few fans who are gutted that he’s not playing from the start tonight:
Ceballos start after one good game after consistently letting us down in the Europa league but Arteta still starts him and drops Martinelli
— not general (@odegaardstan) April 15, 2021
— AngryGooner (@sharsenal_1886) April 15, 2021
Martinelli benched ?????
— Mabushi Mawela (@Mr_Mawela) April 15, 2021
That’s a pathetic line up still, no martinelli again? I could be Arteta out after this game https://t.co/gW1sF94PV3
— ? (@Okzk__) April 15, 2021
Not happy that Martinelli is not starting
— Zane ?? (@AfcZaneRSA) April 15, 2021
No Martinelli, its an L from the start https://t.co/iRzjG2VQDa
— Liam Walker (@liamafc14_) April 15, 2021
Why on earth is Martinelli on the bench
— MH?? (@MoHusseinEleven) April 15, 2021
Martinelli on the bench again. Whats wrong with arteta ? Has this idiot even got a brain ? #SLAARS
— All things Football (@ashbokh) April 15, 2021
It looks like Arteta has gone for experience and Nicolas Pepe tends to play well when Aubameyang is out of the team so perhaps he will come alive, but you can be sure this will be brought up again if they don’t go through tonight.