London (AFP) – Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette has stressed the importance of securing a positive result in the home leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Napoli on Thursday because of the club’s poor away form.
The Gunners have won just five Premier League games on their travels all season, losing 1-0 at Everton last weekend to damage their chances of securing a top-four finish.
Emery’s side have been defeated in their past two trips abroad in Europa League knockout games, having to turn around ties against BATE Borisov and Rennes to set up the last-eight meeting with Carlo Ancelotti’s Italian side.
This time Arsenal are at home first and their form at the Emirates could not be in starker contrast to their away-day blues, with just one league defeat on their own turf all season.
“We know we are better at home than we are away, so tomorrow is really important for us,” said Frenchman Lacazette. “We also know we can get a good result away, so both games are going to be important for us.
“Last season we fell just before the final so this time we want to go forward. We have to play well in this game.
“On Sunday we played badly (against Everton), all the team. We didn’t do what the coach asked us but we still have confidence.
“We know we’re still in the race for the Champions League in the Premier League, but we want to win trophies so we are confident.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in line for a recall to the Arsenal starting line-up after being used off the bench in the past two games.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery confirmed Granit Xhaka and captain Laurent Koscielny will undergo fitness tests ahead of the game and revealed why Aubameyang has been restricted to cameos in recent weeks.
“The first reason (Aubameyang has not started) is because he had a small problem and he has taken antibiotics for his illness,” explained Emery.
“That’s the main reason he didn’t start those two matches,” he said.
“For tomorrow, he’s getting better and can start or can play after.”
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