Arsenal vs Olympiakos preview: Auba in contention

Team news and stats ahead of Arsenal vs Olympiakos in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday; kick-off 5.55pm.

Team news

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in contention to play in Arsenal‘s Europa League round-of-16 second-leg clash with Olympiacos on Thursday.

The captain was dropped for Sunday’s win over Tottenham due to a breach in pre-match protocol but could return with the Gunners leading 3-1 on aggregate.

Bukayo Saka faces a late test on a hamstring issue but manager Mikel Arteta has no other injury concerns.

Olympiakos are without centre-backs Ruben Semedo and Avraam Papadopoulos, and winger Mario Vrousai for Thursday’s second leg.

Manager Pedro Martins could also be without centre-back Ousseynou Ba, who is doubtful through injury.

Arsenal into Auba drive?

Arsenal's head coach Mikel Arteta and Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pose with the trophy after the FA Cup final


Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta’s decision to drop Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the north London derby against Tottenham was a ‘masterstroke’, according to Paul Merson

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insists everything is positive after talks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the club captain was dropped for Sunday’s North London derby win over a disciplinary issue.

However, it is now up to the player to show there is no lingering issue and Olympiakos, whom they lead 3-1, offer that chance.

Attitude rather than individual performance will be more important on the night as the Gabon striker must prove a point.

How to follow

Follow Arsenal vs Olympiakos with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over Tottenham in the Premier League

Pitch to Post Review: Arteta’s ruthless Auba call | Smith Rowe for Euros?

In the latest Pitch to Post Review show, Jasper Taylor is joined by Sky Sports News reporter Roger Clarke and senior football journalist Gerard Brand to discuss the weekend’s action.

PART 1: North London derby | Lamela’s Rabona | Why were Spurs so negative? | Arteta’s ruthless Aubameyang call | Smith Rowe for Euro 2020 squad? (01:34)

PART 2: Is the top four fixed in place? | What on earth is the Europa Conference League? | Can a side finishing fourth not make CL? (22:28)

PART 3: Tim Thornton on Sheffield United | Why did Chris Wilder leave? | What next for the Blades? | What are Wilder’s prospects? (39:00)

PART 4: Performance, performer and goal of the weekend | Jasper’s teaser answer (51:10)

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Opta stats

  • Arsenal have progressed from five of their six UEFA Europa League knockout ties where they won the first leg, the only failure coming last season against Olympiakos, who turned around a 0-1 first leg home defeat to progress on away goals via a 2-1 second-leg victory.
  • Arsenal have lost each of their previous two home games against Olympiakos, one in a UEFA Champions League match in 2015-16 and another in this competition last season – Arsenal have never lost three consecutive home matches against an opponent in European competition.
  • Olympiakos have played 18 away games against English opposition in European competition, winning twice and drawing once while losing 15 times – those two wins both came against Arsenal (September 2015 and February 2020).
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in each of his last three home matches in Europe for Arsenal, though one of these games was held at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Greece – the last Arsenal player to score in four consecutive home European matches (excluding qualifiers) was Robin van Persie in September 2009, with the fourth game in his run coming against Olympiakos.
  • Olympiakos’ Youssef El-Arabi is looking to score in three consecutive UEFA Europa League meetings with Arsenal, with his two goals against the Gunners so far (in three games) accounting for 50% of his total in the competition (4).


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