Heading into the second leg of a European tie 3-1 down is no easy challenge for any team, but on Thursday night, that is the exact task Arsenal must overcome.
After breezing past one big challenge on the weekend in the form of Manchester United, Unai Emery must do the same thing in midweek when Stade Rennais roll into town.
The Ligue 1 side swept the Gunners aside last week at their home ground and now it’s all to play for in north London with Arsenal desperately looking to overturn what potentially could be a dangerous outcome for the club.
Thankfully, there is some good news going into the crunch game on Thursday as Alexandre Lacazette is set to return (as per Sky Sports) to the Arsenal team after his initial three-match ban was reduced to two matches, making him available for this game.
The weekend’s result showed just how important Lacazette’s presence on the pitch is for the Arsenal first-team, and his inclusion in the squad now midweek means Emery’s men now have a serious chance of overturning their 3-1 deficit.
Indeed, the Frenchman both assisted Granit Xhaka’s opening goal and won the penalty that allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to slot in the winning goal to send Arsenal into the top four of the Premier League table.
So, his impact on the game Thursday night could be the difference between progression to the Europa League quarter-finals or European embarrassment in a competition the Gunners were strong favourites for.
In the competition this season the former Lyon striker has been one of the Gunners’ key players, scoring the goal that sent Arsenal into the knockout round of the Europa League in a 1-0 against Qarabag. Clearly, he’s the man Unai Emery can rely on.
Arsenal fans, do you think Lacazette will make an impact on Thursday?