Arsenal have arrived to France where they are set to face Rennes in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16. The players who made the trip are: Petr Cech, Bernd Leno; Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolašinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles; Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi, Aaron Ramsey, Denis Suarez, Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan; Alex Iwobi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Eddie Nketiah.
Joined by midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, manager Unai Emery spoke to the press, giving his thoughts ahead of the clash.
On Lacazette ban
Alexandre Lacazette is facing from one to three games of suspension for the red card he received in the previous round, and while the striker hopes it will be one, Emery believes it will be three.
However, he also believes Arsenal have enough quality options upfront to cope with the absence of the former Lyon man.
The team are used to playing a lot of games week-in week-out, and fatigue can be no excuse.
The boss was positive about Aubameyang before, and he’s confident still. If the Gabonese takes a penalty again, the boss will be confident.
Guendouzi about himself
The youngster believed he would have a good start at Arsenal, and now he believes he did. He also believes his youth gives him energy to run for his teammates and give 150% in every game.
Emery won’t criticize Premier League
Ligue 1 helped Rennes in terms of schedule in order to allow them to prepare for Arsenal, but Emery says it’s up to the Premier League to draw up a schedule in England, and he’s certain that his team have adapted well.
Arsenal played Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley last weekend (1-1) and they host Manchester United at the Emirates on Sunday, but the boss says his team will have the energy to put in a good performance both against Rennes and United.
On Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa is Rennes’ most important player, but they also have an important player in Ismaila Sarr, and they boast good defenders in their ranks as well.
The Gunners can be backed at 11/10 to come back victorious from France.