Date: 10th April 2021 at 6:10am
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Arsenal’s season suffered its latest blow on Thursday when Slavia Prague snatched a late equaliser in their Europa League quarter-final first-leg. 

The Gunners had their chances to take control of the tie, but Nicolas Pepe’s strike four minutes from time was cancelled out by Tomas Holes’ late, late leveller.

Arteta’s side face a crucial second-leg next week but, before that, Arsenal travel to take on rock-bottom Sheffield United in the Premier League.

Sitting 10th in the table, the North London side are nine points adrift of a European spot meaning that it seems the best they can hope for is to at least match last season’s eighth placed finish.

Last time out in the top-flight, Arsenal were humbled 3-0 at home to Liverpool, ending a four match league unbeaten run.

Arteta will be keen to secure three points against the struggling Blades, but will have one eye on having his best team available for a crucial return leg in Prague on Thursday.

So what line-up will the Spaniard select at Bramall Lane? Here’s our predicted Arsenal XI to take on Sheffield United…

Goalkeeper 

Leno is expected to continue.

Although Arteta will want his first-choice ‘keeper Bernd Leno available for Prague, it’s unlikely the Spaniard will rest his number 1. The German has played in all but one of the Gunners’ Premier League matches this season and you can expect that will continue in Sheffield. A ninth clean sheet would be most welcome.

Defenders

Mari may get an opportunity.

Injuries to David Luiz and Kieran Tierney has limited Arteta’s options at the back, but the Spaniard could opt to make a couple of changes from the Europa League draw. Calum Chambers could come in for Hector Bellerin at right-back, while Pablo Mari, who has played just 10 times in all competitions this term, could be set for an 11th in place of Gabriel. This means that Rob Holding and Cedric Soares are expected to continue at centre and left-back respectively.

Midfielders 

Smith Rowe could continue.

The absence of Granit Xhaka in their defeat to Liverpool showed how important the Swiss midfielder is to this Arsenal team. So even with Prague being the priority, we expect both he and Thomas Partey will be rested in favour of Mohamed Elneny and Dani Ceballos. Ahead of that duo, Martin Odegaard looks to be absent with injury once more, meaning that Emile Smith Rowe could continue in that role.

Attackers

Aubameyang is set for a recall.

Despite enduring a poor season by his standards, it was still a surprise to see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left out of the XI to face Slavia Prague. However, after coming off the bench to assist Nicolas Pepe’s opener, the Gabonese star should earn a recall as he looks to net his 10th Premier league goal of the campaign. Arteta has a few options as to who will flank his skipper, but the impact of Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli may give them the nod. This would see Willian and Bukayo Saka, has been a standout performer for the Gunners this term but has just returned from injury, having to settle for a spot on the bench.

Arsenal predicted XI vs Sheffield United: Leno; Chambers, Holding, Mari, Cedric; Elneny, Smith Rowe; Pepe, Martinelli, Aubameyang.

Can Arsenal get the job done at Bramall Lane and secure a confidence boost ahead of their biggest match of the season?

 
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