Lacazette boost for Gunners

13 March 2019 19:05:35 EST

Unai Emery feels having Alexandre Lacazette available for the Europa League visit of Rennes may help Arsenal turn the last-16 tie around.

Despite grabbing an early lead in France last week, Arsenal went down 3-1 to Rennes, ending the game with ten men.

They also lost away from home in the first leg in the previous round to BATE Borisov before turning things in their favour with a 3-0 Emirates success.

Lacazette will be available after his three-match ban picked up against BATE was reduced to two on appeal, and Lucas Torreira returns from a domestic ban to boost the home side.

We all know how important Alex is to us as a group.

Unai Emery

Henrikh Mkhitaryan however faces a late fitness test having sat out Sunday's 2-0 Premier League win against his former club Manchester United.

With a need to attack, Emery is relieved to be boosted by the news that French striker Lacazette can feature.

"We all know how important Alex is to us as a group," said the Spaniard.

"Obviously the more players we have available the better it is because we do have some quality players, particularly in midfield and up top. Hopefully we will be able to make that danger pay.

"Let's just hope that Lacazette can help us to achieve the result on Thursday."

Arsenal are 2/7 to win the second leg and 19/20 to qualify for the quarter-finals. Rennes meanwhile are 19/2 to win in north London.

Alex Iwobi put Arsenal ahead last week, before the game seemingly turned when Sokratis Papastathopoulos picked up a second booking before half-time.

"I think in terms of the game last week it was a very different game until the red card to Sokratis," added Emery.

"I think we were in control of the match and we'd obviously taken an early lead, but the red card did change things and Rennes were able to take advantage of things.

"With that being said, we do have confidence that we're going to give a very big performance tomorrow and go through to the next round."

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