Europa League Quarter Finals: Napoli Vs Arsenal (0 - 1) Live

Arsenal hold a two-goal advantage over Napoli, although their away form in the Europa League might come back to bite them at the San Paolo.

Arsenal did themselves massive favours by scoring two goals in the first leg of their quarter-final clash against Napoli in London. Goals from Aaron Ramsey and an own goal from Kalidou Koulibaly settled the score, although the Gunners need to dig deep and protect this lead when they visit Napoli at the San Paolo.

In preparation for the Napoli clash, Arsenal played Watford in their Premier League away game and won. Fans did heave a sigh of relief at their side winning an away game in the league as well as keeping a clean sheet in the process. But Napoli are of a different quality altogether, and Arsenal’s away form in the Europa League this season could come back to bite them, given they have lost the last two games on their travels to BATE and Rennes.

Carlo Ancelotti will want his Napoli side to show aggression right from the start, as it could be a possible way to score early and put pressure on Arsenal. The manager did state he was happy with his team’s performance in London, while also citing his players were more superior physically than Arsenal. Despite those claims, Petr Cech had only two saves to make although Napoli did attack well at times.

However, overturning a two-goal deficit will have its difficulties, and Napoli will be hoping to count on their home support to beat the Gunners. They must have studied well on the major flaws Arsenal possess when travelling on the road, but they should be wary of the opposition’s attackers for one away goal, in all probabilities, could kill the tie for Napoli.

Team News & Tactics

Napoli

Ancelotti has a near full squad to choose from for the Arsenal game, although Amadou Diawara and Raul Albiol are out. The duo have been injured since March and January respectively. Otherwise, the manager has all his other players available for selection and will likely choose a strong lineup to thwart Arsenal.

After last week’s performance, Ancelotti has a lot of tinkering to do with his squad and could make some changes. Right-back, Hysaj could be replaced with Kevin Malcuit the likely preference there. Last week, Ancelotti started Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne up front in London, something that did not work out. Arkadiusz Milik could be the man to replace either of those forwards.

Alex Meret will continue in goal ahead of David Ospina, who featured in the league game at the weekend. Nikola Maksimovic and Koulibaly will keep their places in central defence, as will Mario Rui at left-back. Ancelotti will keep his trust in his midfield four of Allan, Jose Callejon, Fabian Ruiz and Piotr Zielinski.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Meret; Malcuit, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Rui; Callejon, Allan, Ruiz, Zielinski; Milik, Insigne



Arsenal

Unai Emery might have stumbled upon a formula last Monday on how to field his sides for away matches. The shape consisted of Mustafi at right-back while Monreal played left-back. Alternatively, the formation could have been to accommodate some players while resting some for the Napoli game. However, due to the availability of Sokratis, Emery could go back to a three-man defence.

Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal could keep their places in the lineup while Mustafi could make way for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who made a cameo appearance against Watford. Sead Kolasinac was also absent from the Watford game, and he too could come back into the side.

Emery will make a late call to select his central midfielders, as Granit Xhaka made his return on Monday, although Lucas Torreira did suffer a knock. Emery confirmed it, but also said he could be available for Napoli. Matteo Guendouzi is an option, while Aaron Ramsey is a guaranteed starter.

Mesut Ozil and Petr Cech are also in line for recalls, while Alexandre Lacazette, who was benched for the Watford clash is a sure starter as well.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Cech; Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang

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