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Martin Keown praises Arsenal forward ahead of Europa League showdown

Martin Keown has predicted that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is going to start as the central striker for Arsenal tonight.

The Gunners have a huge fixture on Thursday night in the second leg of the Europa League semi-finals.

Mikel Arteta’s side trail 2-1 on aggregate against Villarreal from the first leg, but do have an away goal in the bank for tonight’s match at the Emirates Stadium.

If the north London club can overturn the deficit, the likelihood is that they’ll face Manchester United in the final, barring a miracle that sees them blow a 6-2 advantage over Roma.

Keown has given huge praise to Aubameyang going into the Villarreal match.

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The 31-year-old hasn’t had the smoothest of seasons, from an individual viewpoint, where his form has dipped below the incredibly high standards he’s set in the past.

However, he’s still scored 15 goals in all competitions this campaign, including in the league win over Newcastle United on Sunday.

“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was put in front of the press on Wednesday, so you expect he will start up top,” Keown wrote for the Daily Mail.

“Regardless of what his critics might think, he is still one of the best strikers in Europe. Aubameyang scored the goals that won Arsenal the FA Cup last season — with braces against Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi final and final respectively.”

 

TBR’s View:

Aubameyang, who on his day can be lethal, played in the central striker position against Newcastle.

It seems a good guess that the speedster will play down the middle again on the Europa League stage, and Arteta can’t do the same thing he did in last week’s defeat to Villarreal.

If Arsenal lose tonight, then the entire season will be a failure. However, they could be 90 minutes away from reaching another European final, and going someway to making up for an underwhelming domestic campaign.

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