A storm lies ahead for Arsenal on Thursday night.
Coming off an inspired win over Manchester United in the weekend, they need to replicate something similar to defeat a dangerous Rennes side, who dented their Europa League ambitions with a crushing loss in France.
However, to tame the French side, a Frenchman is coming to Arsenal’s rescue. Alexandre Lacazette is available for the Gunners after having his ban overturned thanks to a successful appeal, meaning Unai Emery will have his strongest unit available.
In need of a big win, Lacazette could be their make-or-break factor at the Emirates.
The French striker’s coming into the game in hot form after playing a big part in breaking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s perfect record at Manchester United. Lacazette tormented Victor Lindelof and co with his movement, while getting a few swipes at goal. Furthermore, he even assisted Granit Xhaka’s surprising opener and earned the penalty which sealed the deal.
Countryman Thierry Henry once inspired Arsenal comeback against Inter Milan back in 2003, scoring twice and setting up another to briefly stop an embarrassing Champions League exit. While Lacazette clearly has a lot to do in order to be considered on a similar sort of level than the legendary ‘Titi’, that type of performance would be huge.
As Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slowly finds back his lethal touch, Lacazette is Arsenal’s prized asset in the final third. He’s only made four Europa League appearances this season, one which included a dreadful sending off against BATE Borisov. However, he’s scored one and assisted another in the other three and will look to redeem himself in front of his adoring fans.
Indeed, the Gunners can take heart from the fact that the Champions League has seen many scintillating turnarounds in recent weeks, so things are possible in the Europa League.
Gunners, do you think Lacazette can make the difference to complete the comeback? Join the discussion by commenting below.