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Arsenal predicted lineup vs Benfica: Lacazette starts; Aubameyang on bench

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(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

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Arsenal predicted lineup vs Benfica: Lacazette starts; Aubameyang on bench

Arsenal return to Europa League action on Thursday looking to secure the win over Benfica that will put Mikel Arteta’s side into the last 16 of the competition.

Arteta seems to be coming under a little scrutiny once again right now. The Gunners have won one and lost three of their last six in all competitions.

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(Photo by NEIL HALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Their last 32 tie with Benfica is finely poised after a 1-1 draw last time out. And with Arsenal languishing in the domestic table, it is imperative that they win to keep their hopes of Champions League football next season realistically alive.

That should prompt Arteta to name a strong team against the Portuguese side. He may well opt for the same back five that started last week.

They may also choose Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos in the middle of the park once again.

 

There may perhaps some changes in the final third, however. Emile Smith Rowe could keep his place from the first-leg.

Elsewhere, Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe could return to the starting lineup. Martinelli – who cost around £6 million (via Telegraph) – seems to have fallen out of favour in recent times, so it would be no surprise to see Bukayo Saka start.

Arsenal Training Session

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Up front, Alexandre Lacazette – who earns £182,000-a-week, according to Spotrac – may replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Aubameyang endured a tough afternoon against Manchester City at the weekend so it may be wise to leave him on the bench to start with.

With that in mind, here is how Arsenal may perhaps lineup on Thursday…

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