Arsenal legend Paul Merson has urged Mikel Arteta to go for a three-man front line in Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final second leg.
The Gunners’ hopes of qualifying for the Champions League this season rest on the trip to Slavia Prague, and with the scoreline evenly poised at 1-1, they have a lot of work to do.
In the first leg, Arsenal looked timid and were wasteful for large parts of the match, though they did take the lead late on when Nicolas Pepe dinked the ball past the advancing Ondrej Kola.
However, Slavia netted in injury time, a corner kick bouncing towards the far post, where Tomas Holes dove to head home, Bernd Leno unable to keep the effort out.
Ahead of the second leg, Merson wants to see a much stronger attacking setup, with Alexandre Lacazette flanked by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and either Bukayo Saka or Nicolas Pepe.
“I like Lacazette, he is a good footballer, he holds the ball up and brings players into the game, he is decent,” the Gunners icon told Sky Sports.
“And I would play him up front alongside Aubameyang with three in attack with Saka or Nicolas Pepe and say to them, ‘just get us a goal, we will defend’ and they will cause havoc.
“They should cause havoc – they are all good players – and it is not like they are trying to improve them.”
Arsenal will go into the Slavia clash on the back of a 3-0 win at Sheffield United, so hopefully the Gunners will feel confident ahead of Thursday’s game.
It’s such a crucial game and, with the hosts boasting an away goal, Arsenal should go for the jugular right away and, if they succeed in getting an early goal, hopefully Slavia will panic and buckle.