Sokratis in line to face Arsenal as Olympiacos dealt major injury blow ahead of Europa League clash

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Sokratis in line to face Arsenal as Olympiacos dealt major injury blow ahead of Europa League clash

Arsenal’s upcoming Europa League meetings with Olympiacos look set to be made all the more intriguing by the enforced inclusion of Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Arsenal vs Olympiacos

Mikel Arteta’s men of course booked their spot in the Last-16 of the Europa League in typically nailbiting fashion last week.

A 2nd-leg showdown with Portuguese giants Benfica saw the Gunners slip a goal behind just past the hour mark, only to roar back, eventually securing a 3-2 win courtesy of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 87th-minute header:

Arsenal’s reward for their late show? A showdown with Olympiacos.

The draw no doubt induced nightmares in many a Gunners fan, with Arteta and co. having of course been sent packing from the Europa League by the Greek champions just last year.

Sokratis in line to face Arsenal as Olympiacos dealt major injury blow ahead of Europa League clash

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 27: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal reacts during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Arsenal FC and Olympiacos FC at Emirates Stadium on February 27, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

As such, revenge will be on the minds of not only the club’s supporters, but likely their players, too.

Sokratis to feature

And, as outlined above, this evening, even further spice has been added to what are no doubt set to be an explosive pair of fixtures between Arsenal and Olympiacos.

This comes in the form of confirmation that the latter have been dealt a serious blow on the personnel front.

Defender Ruben Semedo, who has played a key role at the heart of Olympiacos’ backline to this point in the campaign, is now expected to miss both clashes with the Gunners., after picking up an injury.

This, in turn, opens the door for none other than Sokratis Papastathopoulos – who departed north London for Athens during the January transfer window – to step in.

‘Papa’ has managed starts in just 3 of Olympiacos’ 10 fixtures since returning to his home country, but looks set to play a central role over the weeks ahead, including in a pair of meetings with his ex-employers.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 26 36 62
2 Manchester United FC 26 21 50
3 Leicester City FC 26 15 49
4 West Ham United FC 26 9 45
5 Chelsea FC 26 16 44
6 Liverpool FC 26 13 43
7 Everton FC 24 4 40
8 Tottenham Hotspur FC 25 14 39
9 Aston Villa FC 24 12 39
10 Arsenal FC 26 7 37
11 Leeds United 26 -1 35
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 26 -6 34
13 Crystal Palace FC 26 -14 33
14 Southampton FC 25 -12 30
15 Burnley FC 26 -16 28
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 26 -7 26
17 Newcastle United FC 26 -17 26
18 Fulham FC 26 -11 23
19 West Bromwich Albion 26 -35 17
20 Sheffield United FC 26 -28 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 17
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 15
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 14
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 11
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 10
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 9
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 9
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 8
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 8
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 8
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7

Source: 101greatgoals.com