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Arsenal will play host to Stade Rennais FC on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie, with a two-goal deficit to overturn if they want to progress.
Alexandre Lacazette is available to play for Arsenal against Rennes on Thursday after the club’s appeal over his Europa League suspension was partially upheld by UEFA.
Lacazette was shown a straight red for elbowing Aleksandar Filipovic as Arsenal suffered a 1-0 loss away to BATE in their last-32 first leg.
The forward was given a three-game ban and missed Arsenal’s comeback in the second leg, as well as their 3-1 defeat away to Rennes in the first meeting of their last-16 tie.
But UEFA confirmed on Tuesday that the suspension has been reduced to two matches and, as he has already sat out two games, he can play against Rennes at Emirates Stadium.
The visitors could field the same starting line-up again. Rennes will surely be brimming with belief, having scored three times in five of their last eight matches in all competitions.
There is every possibility Bernd Leno will start ahead of Petr Cech in goal, the former Bayern Munich star has been remarkable since his arrival at the Emirate Stadium.
With Sokratis suspended, Shkodran Mustafi will come in. Konstantinos Mavropanos isn’t in Arsenal’s Europa League squad, Rob Holding is still injured, so Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal will take the other two spots.
The wing-back positions should be fairly straightforward for Emery, with Sead Kolasinac the only option on the left and Ainsley Maitland-Niles the only likely option on the right. Carl Jenkinson could play on the right, as could Lichtsteiner if he’s actually fit, but neither are likely to do so.
The big news this week is that Alexandre Lacazette’s suspension has been reduced, meaning he’s available for this match. He should start alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as Arsenal will need all their firepower to get a result on the night.