[Image] Predicted 4-2-3-1 Arsenal XI to face Rennais – can the Gunners take first-leg advantage?

Stade Rennais vs Arsenal predictions: Arsenal line-up

Arsenal take on Ligue 1 side Rennais in the Europa League after a frustrating draw against Tottenham in the North London derby on Saturday.

Unai Emery’s side dropped down to 5th place and the qualification for the Champions League next season depends on winning the Europa League.

With a difficult game against Manchester United coming up at the weekend, Unai Emery is expected to make a host of changes for the game on Thursday.

Team news

The Gunners have been fortunate in recent weeks on the injury front, with both Laurent Koscielny and Stephan Lichtsteiner’s knocks proving to be small ones.

Unai Emery has everybody available at his disposal apart from the long-term absentees of Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck.

Probable Arsenal XI

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Manager: Unai Emery

Petr Cech (GK)

The veteran is expected to continue in goal as Bernd Leno has been in charge of the Premier League fixtures.

Stephan Lichtsteiner (RB)

The former Juventus man has been out of action for the last few games but is expected to return to the starting eleven for the game against Rennais.

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Shkodran Mustafi (CB)

The German gave away a costly penalty against Spurs on Saturday and should be looking to redeem himself in central defence on Thursday.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos (CB)

The Greek was arguably Arsenal’s best player in the derby as he dealt with Harry Kane without breaking a sweat. His presence will be massively important for the Gunners in this crucial tie.

Sead Kolasinac (LB)

The former Schalke man was benched for the game against Tottenham but is expected to return to the starting line up ahead of Nacho Monreal on Thursday.

Lucas Torreira (CDM)

The Uruguayan’s form has dipped over the last few games and he received a harsh red card in the derby, which suspends him for the next 3 games in the Premier League. He is expected to start in central midfield on Thursday.

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Matteo Guendouzi (CM)

The French prodigy has been immense for the Gunners this campaign but was substituted at half-time in the derby on Saturday. He should come straight back into the starting eleven.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (RW)

The former Manchester United attacker has been incredible for the Gunners since his return from injury and has scored and assisted 5 goals in his last 3 games in the Premier League. He should start on the right wing on Thursday.

Mesut Ozil (CAM)

The German was benched for the derby after an outstanding performance against Bournemouth in the midweek. He is expected to return to his favourite number 10 position on Thursday.

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Alex Iwobi (LW)

Iwobi has been directly involved in 11 goals this season and his partnership with Kolasinac on the left-hand side has been effective. Should start this game.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST)

The Gabonese will be looking to get on the scoresheet on Thursday after failing to convert a late penalty against Tottenham in the derby on Saturday.

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Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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