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Arsenal vs Napoli: 3 key battles that will decide the game

Harsh Pillai
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
11 Apr 2019, 12:14 IST

Arsenal and Napoli will lock horns in the Europa League today
Arsenal and Napoli will lock horns in the Europa League today

In what was a very disappointing game, the Gunners come into this fixture with a defeat to Everton on their shoulders. On the other hand, Napoli come into this game with a hard-fought point against a robust Genoa side who were reluctant in conceding more than one goal against Carlo's men.

Arsenal have demonstrated a brilliant form at home since the start of the season, as their home win record is only bettered by Man City the in EPL. In the Europa League, they have qualified to the next round despite losing the first leg on two occasions, first against BATE Borisov and later against Rennes. Unai Emery's men, led by Sokratis from the back, have conceded only 1 goal in their last 6 home games, scoring 18, which is certainly a big reason to worry for the men from Naples.

The Arsenal vs Napoli game promises high-octane, mesmerising football. The last time Carlo Ancelotti's men faced a Premier League side, it did not end well for Napoli, as they crashed out of the UCL due to a 1-0 loss against Liverpool at Anfield.

As the two European heavyweights clash their swords at the Emirates, here are a few key battles you should not miss.


#3 Lucas Torreira vs Fabian Ruiz Pena

Torreira and Fabian Ruiz will be influential for their respective sides
Torreira and Fabian Ruiz will be influential for their respective sides

Arsenal succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Everton last weekend. One of the major reasons for the loss was because Emery did not have two of his first eleven midfielders available for selection; Torreira was out due to suspension and Xhaka because of a groin injury. Though Xhaka's return still seems unlikely, the fact that Lucas Torreira will be available for selection provides the Arsenal squad with a huge boost before facing Napoli.

Torreira, 22, will have a tough competitor in Fabian Ruiz when his side take to the pitch to pit their wits against Napoli. The latter joined for a fee of €30 million from Real Betis in the summer of 2018 and the 23-year-old has lived up to the coach's expectations.

When it comes to positioning, Fabian Ruiz is excellent. He reads the play and reacts to it with immense calmness. Playing as a midfielder, the Spanish man has only 2 yellow cards in 20 Serie A appearances, which is a decent feat. But he'll need more than that to keep one of Premier League's best midfielder.

Lucas Torreira has lived up to the billing and the Urugyuan has shot to prominence in London, as his gaffer has been able to get the best out of him within no time. The former Sampodiara player is a fan-favourite at the Emirates, and the team would yet again rely on him to pull the strings from the midfield.

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