Arsenal v Napoli Preview: A strong first leg needed for the Gunners at the Emirates
Mesut Ozil celebrates his first goal for Arsenal against Napoli in 2013 | Source: Paul Gilham / Getty

Arsenal v Napoli Preview: A strong first leg needed for the Gunners at the Emirates

Match preview ahead of Arsenal's Europa League match up against Napoli

Rosie Tudball

Arsenal have a difficult tie ahead of them as Napoli await the Gunners in the Europa League quarter finals.  

It’ll be a tough job for Unai Emery’s side, however with home advantage on Thursday night, can Arsenal get the upper hand before their trip to Naples? 

Previous Round 

Both Arsenal and Napoli faced defeat in the previous round, as Arsenal fell 3-1 short to Stade Rennais however sealed the deal at home 3-0 – telling the tale of the Gunners’ form away from home this season.  

Napoli showed a similar weakness, as they went through very narrowly against RB Salzburg, winning 3-0 at home and causing a scare to their fans losing 3-1 away in the second leg.  

Napoli are yet to win in England in European competition, can the Gunners continue their bleak record? 

League Form  

Arsenal go into the game on the back of a loss, as the Gunners fell short at Goodison Park against Everton last weekend. It was a poor performance and one that Emery’s side will hope to forget about.  

Napoli are without a win in their last two games, losing to Empoli and drawing 1-1 against Genoa in the previous game.  

The Italian’s aren’t as strong away from home this season, which is something that Arsenal have an advantage over in the first leg. 

The two sides last met in the 2013/14 season Champions League, where it was evens between the two in the group stage.  

Arsenal won 2-0 as Napoli visited the Emirates, whereas Napoli got revenge on the Gunners in Naples winning 2-0.  

Mesut Özil scored his first Arsenal goal in the home fixture; will he be involved on Thursday night? 

Team News 

Laurent Koscielny and Granit Xhaka have returned to training; however, it’s not known whether they will be fit for contention yet.  

Mesut Özil has enjoyed a run of games recently after struggling to grasp life under Emery, after a tough game against Everton, can he retain a starting spot? 

For Napoli, Lorenzo Insigne returned to action last weekend after facing a spell off the pitch with injury.  

Amadou Diawara and Raul Albiol will miss out on the game due to injury, David Ospina will also not feature due to his loan deal.  

Predicted Lineups: 

Arsenal: Cech; Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Guendouzi, Kolasinac; Mkhitaryan; Ozil, Lacazette 

Napoli: Meret; Malcuit, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Rui; Callejon, Allan, Fabian Ruiz, Zielinski; Insigne, Mertens