1) Arsenal are finally taking the competition seriously – Having limped through the group stages with a mixture of reserves and youth, Arsene Wenger has finally realised that the Europa League is the only way we will win a trophy and get back into the Champions League this season.
What this led to was a change of policy in the Premier League clash against Stoke City – where the likes of Laurent Koscielny, Granit Xhaka and Henrik Mkhitaryan were rotated out for not being 100%. Expect all 3 to start tonight
2) After a torrid start to 2018, Arsenal have hit form with 4 wins in 4 games. 11 goals scored and 3 clean sheets.
3) Can Moscow do it on a mild Thursday evening in Islington? They rely so much in the Champions League group stages of teams freezing in sub zero temperatures in Moscow, that playing them in April will be a different kettle of fish. It will favour Arsenal.
Even for the away leg, temperatures in Moscow will be positive, with them being as high as 17c next Monday.
4) Alexandre Lacazette returned to first-team action at the weekend, scoring a goal. His return is timely for the Europa League with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ineligible and Danny Welbeck no good.
5) Arsenal will be out for revenge on behalf of every citizien of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the horrendous state authorised attempted murder of British citizens in Salisbury
Predicted Starting XI:
Bellerin Koscielny Mustafi Monreal
Wilshere Xhaka Ramsey