Arsenal team news: Expected line-up for Slavia Prague showdown as key duo miss out

Arsenal: Arteta says club 'belongs in semi-finals'

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Arsenal are likely to be missing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Martin Odegaard tonight when they travel to Slavia Prague, in a match that could define their season. With Arsenal struggling to make the top seven in the Premier League, the Europa League represents their best chance of securing European football for next season.

Arsenal will still be kicking themselves for the way they through away a precious lead in the first leg last week at the Emirates Stadium.

Alexandre Lacazette could have helped his side put one foot into the semi-finals but the Gunners were eventually punished late in stoppage time as they conceded from a corner.

Winning another trophy would prove priceless for Arteta but Europa League glory would also seal the return of Champions League football.

Arsenal are already stretched in the Czech Republic with both Aubameyang and Odegaard unlikely to be able to start.

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The striker has been ill while the Norwegian has been nursing discomfort in his ankle.

Arteta revealed yesterday that both could still make the cut, permitting they got through the team’s final training session.

When asked about their prospects of playing, Arteta said: “Depending how they wake up. If they wake up better yes.

“Yesterday none of them could train. Hopefully today it’s a sunnier day so maybe it’s better.”

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Arteta made it clear he was keen to have his captain back given Aubameyang has the quality and experience to potentially decide the tie.

“Absolutely [hope to have him back],” he said. “We’ve shown that in big games big players have to step in and create the magic moments. You need that so let’s hope that we can have them.”

Bernd Leno will start in goal, while in front of him Hector Bellerin could return with Rob Holding, Gabriel and Cedric Soares completing the back four.

Granit Xhaka could be back in midfield after his stint at left-back at Sheffield United.

He is likely to partner Thomas Partey in the engine room with Emile Smith Rowe ahead of him at CAM.

Arsenal have been handed a boost by the youngster and Bukayo Saka, who are both fit for the contest.

Saka limped off with a thigh problem at Bramall Lane but has shaken off the issue.

Nicolas Pepe will keep his place on the right from the first leg, having scored for the Gunners.

Finally, Lacazette will lead the line, as he looks to continue his rich vein of form.

Expected Arsenal XI: Leno; Bellerin, Gabriel, Holding, Soares; Xhaka, Partey; Pepe, Smith Rowe, Saka; Lacazette.

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