Napoli vs Arsenal preview: Lucas Torreira in contention as Gunners aim to make Europa League semis

Lucas Torreira is expected to be available for Arsenal when they travel to Napoli for the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.

The midfielder played a part in the second goal as Arsenal won the first leg 2-0 at the Emirates after an impressive first-half display.

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However, he was taken off at half-time of the 1-0 victory at Watford on Monday Night Football due to a groin injury.

Torreira is set to be assessed ahead of the match, with Gunners head coach Unai Emery saying he was “60 per cent happy” with the first-leg result.

“We know the first leg today was very important to take good results and a good feeling with our supporters.

“We know it’ll be very difficult there, their performances at home are usually strong performances. They’ll use all their attacking possibilities against us.”

Napoli won 3-1 at Chievo in Serie A on Sunday and head coach Carlo Ancelotti has urged his side to show “courage, intelligence and heart”.​​​​​​

The winner of the tie faces Valencia or Villarreal in the semi-finals.

Team news

Arsenal will be without Denis Suarez due to a groin injury and long-term absentees Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck.

Opta stats

  • Napoli’s only previous home match against Arsenal was in the 2013-14 Champions League group stage, winning 2-0.
  • Arsenal’s last away match in Italy was at the last-16 stage of last season’s Europa League, winning 2-0 against AC Milan.
  • Napoli have been eliminated on the last eight occasions they’ve lost the first leg of a major European knockout match, last overturning a first leg deficit in the 1988-89 UEFA Cup quarter-final against Juventus (0-2 first leg, 3-0 second leg).
  • Arsenal’s 2-0 win in the first leg was the 17th occasion the Gunners have won the first leg of a major European knockout match by two or more goals – they’ve progressed on each of the previous 16 occasions.
  • Unai Emery has won 25 matches in the Europa League knockout stages – more than any other manager.

Charlie Nicholas’ prediction

I am very nervous to be honest with you. Napoli could have scored a couple but Arsenal had so many chances to extend their lead at the Emirates. I would abandon the goalkeeper getting it and playing it around at the back. I would go back to front and get the game played higher up the pitch.

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