Arsenal boss Unai Emery expecting tough night


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Arsenal boss Unai Emery insists his players need to prepare for a long battle as they try to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit in their Europa League round-of-32 clash with BATE Borisov on Thursday.

The Gunners were stunned last week when they lost 1-0 to the Belarusian champions away from home. That has now put pressure on them ahead of the second leg, but they remain 1.13 favourites to get the job done on Thursday night.

BATE managed to win although they had not played a competitive fixture since December. Many are expecting them to tire but Emery is thinking that his team need to be prepared for extra-time.

He told reporters: “For us, tomorrow [Thursday] is a very important match,” said the Spaniard.

“After the first result, we must manage the 90 minutes and also know if we need more minutes after the 90 minutes it can be in our mind with the preparation to do that.

“It is also very important to play in our stadium with our supporters, and we need their support for this match and I hope there is a big atmosphere for us.

“Together, with their support, I know our players can play and give their all.” Striker Alexandre Lacazette is suspended after being sent off in the first leg, meaning Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in line to start at the Emirates Stadium.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey and defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos may feature having returned to training this week. With Arsenal short favourites, punters may want to back them to win 3-0 at odds of 6.50.

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