Arsenal play host to Olympiacos on Thursday night as they look to hold onto their narrow lead and progress into the last 16 of the Europa League with an aggregate win – and many Gunners fans want Gabriel Martinelli recalled.
Alexandre Lacazette’s late goal against the Greek outfit last Thursday saw Arsenal secure a slender lead going into the second leg – despite Olympiacos dominating parts of the match and having numerous chances to score.
Despite his goal, Lacazette was benched on Sunday afternoon against Everton while Mikel Arteta started Eddie Nketiah up front – and the England Under-21 international scored. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also netted a brace.
It was a brave call to use Nketiah over Lacazette, but what came as just as surprising to Arsenal fans was the decision to completely omit Martinelli. The 18-year-old has been in stunning form for the Gunners this season.
Indeed, the Brazil Under-23 international has netted 10 goals in 24 appearances for the north London club since his move Ituano in the summer. Of those 24 outings, 10 have been from the bench.
Arsenal fans took to Twitter in their masses ahead of Thursday night’s game, urging Arteta to recall Martinelli back into his side and use him up front against Olympiacos – as the Gunners aim for a place in the last 16.
Pepe Lacazette Martinelli the front 3 today hopefully.
Don't mind if Aubameyang starts but we need more of a balance.
We do have an FA Cup game next so Aubameyang should start today.
— ™️ (@AfcNas) February 27, 2020
Kindly start Gabby Martinelli and @EddieNketiah9 tonight.
Please rest @Aubameyang7 for today.
— Samuel Zigah (@Delazig) February 27, 2020
Martinelli should start tomorrow but I have a feeling he will be benched again smh
— ArtetaTikiTaka (@ArtetaTikiTaka) February 26, 2020
Would like to see Martinelli, Lacazette and Pepe start Thursday. If Pepe needs rest put Nelson in.
— Morten Elmerdahl (@mElmerdahl) February 26, 2020
My lineup vs Olympiacos:
AMN Sokratis Mari Saka
Pepe Willock Martinelli
— TheArsenalFC (@THEAFC7) February 24, 2020
Auba might not start I think. Martinelli and Laca start.
— Samkit Udani (@UdaniKnows) February 27, 2020