Arsenal v Stade Rennais Preview: A tough second leg in place for the Gunners
Arsenal have a challenge at the Emirates. | Source: Baptiste Fernandez / Getty

Arsenal v Stade Rennais Preview: A tough second leg in place for the Gunners

Match Preview of Arsenal's Europa League match up against Stade Rennais. 

Rosie Tudball

Arsenal have it all to do in the Europa League round of 16 as they fell to Rennes in the first leg. 

The Gunners will need to win by two goals at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night, after failing to secure anything from the opening leg of the tie in France.  

A first leg to forget for Arsenal 

Amongst the blistering atmosphere created by both sets of fans at Roazhon Park last week, Arsenal crumbled following the dismissal of Sokratis in the first half.  

It looked as though Arsenal had the tie in control after just three minutes, as Alex Iwobi opened the scoring and the Gunners continued to apply pressure.  

After Sokratis’ red card, it looked as though Arsenal were alienated by having to play with 10 men, the tie changed, with Rennes scoring three and taking the tie away from the grasp of Unai Emery’s side.  

What do Arsenal need to do? 

With an away goal one of the only positives to take away from the opening fixture, Arsenal will be in need of winning by two goals at home.  

The main task for the Gunners will be maintaining a clean sheet without Sokratis, who will, of course, be suspended for the game, an away goal for Rennes could be a blow that settles the tie in North London.  

Team news 

It’s not all doom and gloom for Arsenal despite the aggregate scoreline, as Alexandre Lacazette will now be available for the second leg after Arsenal’s appeal against his red card against BATE Borisov was accepted.  

On a night where goals are crucial for the reds, having the in-form Lacazette back amongst the squad will be a huge boost for Emery.  

Sokratis will be suspended, however, Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be back for selection after missing Arsenal’s win against Manchester United with a slight back injury.  

Apart from the long-term injuries of Romain Danze and Rafik Guitane, Rennes have a fully fit squad to bring to North London.  

Predicted Line Ups 

Arsenal: Cech; Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey; Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette. 

Rennes: Koubek; Zeffane, Da Silva, Sitoe, Bensebaini; Sarr, Andre, Grenier; Ben Arfa, Bourigeaud, Hunou.