The Europa League kicks off on Thursday and Arsenal travel to Greece to face off against Olympiacos. Mikel Arteta’s side would look to grab a win in the first leg before returning home to face them next week and progress to the next round. The Europa League is of extreme importance to Arsenal after their disastrous Premier League campaign this season. The Europa League offers a route to the Champions League. That is something the Gunners are almost certain to not achieve from the Premier League.
Arsenal have had a season to forget so far. They would hope that new manager Mikel Arteta can rebuild the club and bring back the glory days. Arsenal are 10th in the Premier League table, having collected only 34 points from their 26 games this season. Arsenal progressed to the Europa League knockout stage after topping Group F, collecting 11 points from a possible 18. Arsenal have never won the Europa League and lost the final last season against London rivals Chelsea. The Gunners would hope to lift the trophy this season as the winner qualifies for the Champions League.
Olympiacos finished third in a group that had Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur and Crvena Zvezda in the Champions League. However, Olympiacos put in some spirited displays, securing a draw against Arsenal's rivals Tottenham. They also played a 5-goal thriller against Bayern Munich. The Greek side are at the top of the league in their domestic league. They would look to cause an upset at home in the Olympiacos vs Arsenal game.
Arsenal are without the services of defender Calum Chambers who is ruled out for the season. New signings Cedric Soares and Kieran Tierney are ruled out of the match with injuries and are expected to make a return next month. Pablo Mari is a doubt for the clash. Olympiacos are without striker Ahmed Hassan who is recovering from a meniscus injury. Vasilios Torosidis is also out with illness while Konstantinos Fortounis is back in training and might feature in the Olympiacos vs Arsenal match.