Arsenal will welcome former player Alexander Hleb and his BATE side to the Emirates following their shock 1-0 victory over the gunners last week in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League tie.
Team news: Arsenal are without star striker Alexandre Lacazette following the Frenchman’s straight red card in Belarus. Aaron Ramsey has been declared fit for the match after a minor groin injury and Sokratis is back from injury. Arsenal now have an injury list of three: Rob Holding (Left Knee), Hector Bellerin (Left Knee) and Danny Welbeck (Right Ankle).
Aaron Ramsey is likely to replace the suspended Lacazette and it will see the team revert to what Unai Emery was known for when he came to Arsenal by playing a 4-2-3-1 formation. Mesut Özil who has been the centre of speculation is likely to feature from the bench.
Unai Emery on Mesut Özil: “The key is in his [Özil] hands. He is working very well this week. I ask him in our conversation for consistency, to be available for us for training, when you can train consistently you can help us with your best performance in the games.
This week has been good for all the players. I am looking at him doing the training like we want. He needs to be available consistently for training, without the injuries, without the sickness. Without that we can see the best Mesut with us.”
Unai Emery on the match: “For us, tomorrow is very important. After the first result, we must manage the 90 minutes and also know that if we need more minutes, it can be in our mind. It is important for us to play in our stadium with our supporters. We need support, I hope there will be a big atmosphere for us. With our supporters I know our players can play.”
BATE expected XI vs. Arsenal: Scherbitski; Volkov, Filipenko, Filipovic, Milic, Baga; Dragun, Skavysh, Hleb, Ríos; Stasevich.
BATE have no fresh injury concerns and are expected to line up as they did a week ago.
The last time Arsenal faced BATE at the Emirates was last season which saw the home side run rampant winning 6-0. Despite hitting the Belarusian’s for 6, out of all the goal scorers Mohamed Elneny is the sole survivor.
Arsenal 6-0 BATE (2017). pic.twitter.com/OPDu3OEXuX
— ArsenalGoals (@ArsenalGoaIs) February 18, 2019
Arsenal have lost at home in the first round of a knockout stage European tie in the past six seasons.
Arsenal have been eliminated from each of their last six two-legged ties in European competition when losing the first leg – The last such tie they managed to reverse was against FC Porto in 2009/10 by winning 5-0 on the night and 6-2 on aggregate.
Stanislav Dragun’s header in the first leg was the first goal Arsenal have conceded since matchday one against Vorskla Poltava, ending a run of 5 games and 495 minutes without allowing a goal.