Unai Emery has named a strong starting lineup to face Valencia in Arsenal’s Europa League semifinal second leg with Lacazette and Aubameyang leading up front.
Arsenal have a 3-1 lead to protect and advance into the final of the Europa League as Unai Emery has named his strongest possible lineup at the Mestalla. Mesut Ozil is among the starters, and it may come as a surprise for many as Emery has preferred others over the German for away games during most parts of the season.
In defence, Nacho Monreal is given a start in place of former Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi despite the German putting in improved performances in recent games. Monreal will partner Laurent Koscielny, who returns to the starting lineup after suffering a knock in the first leg and Sokratis who has been a fixture in the lineup for the last few games.
? Here’s how we line up for tonight’s semi-final second leg…
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 9, 2019
Petr Cech starts in goal ahead of regular No.1 Bernd Leno. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is available for European games and is duly selected, while Sead Kolasinac will start at left wing-back. Granit Xhaka keeps his place in central midfield, although Matteo Guendouzi is on the bench as Emery has selected Lucas Torreira to partner the Swiss midfielder.
Ozil starts amid the feeling that Emery might give either Alex Iwobi or Henrikh Mkhitaryan a starting role in an away game. Up front, Alexandre Lacazette who scored a brace against Valencia in the first leg starts and his partner in the forward position is Arsenal’s top scorer of the season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Mustafi, Elneny, Mkhitaryan and Iwobi are joined on the bench by Eddie Nketiah and Leno.