Arsenal's upcoming Europa League encounters with Olympiacos appear to be made even more intriguing by the forced inclusion of Sokratis Papastatopoulos.
Arsenal - Olympiacos
Mikel Arteta's men have, of course, booked their place in the 1/8 finals of the Europa League last week in a typically edgy fashion.
In the 2nd match against the Portuguese giant Benfica “Gunners & #039; & #039; conceded a goal just past the hour mark, but immediately roared back, ultimately securing a 3-2 victory thanks to a header from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 87th minute:
Arsenal scores late to save the season against Benfica!
Saka and Aubameyang team up AGAIN when the most important thing is to lead the gunners forward! ? pic.twitter.com/e9aazd58lR
- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 25, 2021
Arsenal award for being late? Duel with Olympiacos.
The draw undoubtedly caused nightmares for many Gunners fans, including Arteta and his company. of course, it was only last year that the Greek champions sent him out of the Europa League.
Thus, revenge will not only be in the minds of the club's fans, but probably their players as well.
Sokratis in particular
And, as stated above, this evening has added another piquancy to what no doubt should be an explosive matchup pair between Arsenal and Olympiacos.
This is confirmation that the latter has dealt a serious blow to the personnel front.
Defender Ruben Semedo, who played a key role in Olympiacos' defense up to this point in the campaign, is expected to miss both encounters with the Gunners after being injured.
A big boost for #AFC as one of Olympiacos' key defenders will miss the upcoming #UEL games. https://t.co/9m1nsocEbI
- Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) March 1, 2021
This, in turn, opens up the opportunity to intervene for none other than Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who flew from north London to Athens during the January transfer window.
Papa has managed to start in just 3 of Olympiacos' 10 games since returning home, but he looks set to play a central role in the coming weeks, including a couple of meetings with his former employers.
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|1||Manchester city||26 year||36||62|
|2||Manchester United||26 year||21 years||50|
|3||Leicester City||26 year||15||49|
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|6||Liverpool||26 year||13||43 years old|
|9||Aston Villa FC||24||12||39|
|10||Arsenal FC||26 year||7||37|
|11||Leeds United||26 year||-1||35 year|
|12||Wolverhampton Wanderers||26 year||-6||34|
|13||Crystal palace||26 year||-14||33|
|15||Burnley||26 year||-16||28 year|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion||26 year||-7||26 year|
|17||Newcastle United||26 year||-17||26 year|
|18||Fulham FC||26 year||-11||23|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||26 year||-35||17|
|20||Sheffield United||26 year||-28||11|
|Fernandez, Bruno||Manchester United||15|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur||14|
|Sleep, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||13|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||13|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||12|
|Gundogan, Ilkay||Manchester city||11|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||10|
|Watkins, Ollie||Aston Villa FC||10|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United||9|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester city||9|
|Barnes, Harvey||Leicester City||9|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal palace||9|
|Lacazette, Alexander||Arsenal FC||9|
|Maddison, James||Leicester City||8|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||8|
|Soucek, Tomas||West Ham United||8|
|Player||Team||Red cards||Yellow cards|
|Gallagher, Conor||West Bromwich Albion||0||8|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||0||8|
|Milivoevich, Luka||Crystal palace||1||7|
|Hayden, Isaac||Newcastle United||0||8|
|Maguire, Harry||Manchester United||0||7|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United||1||6|
|Evans, Johnny||Leicester City||0||7|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United||1||6|
|Bisuma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion||1||6|
|Grilish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||0||6|
|Klich, Mateusz||Leeds United||0||6|
|Hoybjerg, Pierre||Tottenham Hotspur||0||6|
|Jaka, Granite||Arsenal FC||1||5|
|Louis, Douglas||Aston Villa FC||0||5|
|Fernandez, Bruno||Manchester United||0||5|
|Dallas, Stuart||Leeds United||0||5|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur||11|
|Fernandez, Bruno||Manchester United||10|
|Grilish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||10|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester city||10|
|Sleep, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||8|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United||6|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United||6|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester city||5|
|Maddison, James||Leicester City||5|
|Neto, Pedro||Wolverhampton Wanderers||5|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United||5|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||4|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||4|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||4|
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