- Arsenal battle Villarreal in the Europa League semifinal first-leg clash in Spain on Thursday
- Mikel Arteta has been urged by Chris Sutton to field more of the younger players to help him secure a favourable result in Spain
- Sutton reckons that the duo of Aubameyang and Lacazette is available for selection but struggling for fitness
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Premier League legend Chris Sutton has asked Mikel Arteta to place his faith in the youth when Arsenal take on Villarreal in the Europa League.
The Gunners are due to face the La Liga side in the first leg of their semi-final fixture on Thursday, April 29, in a tie they will be desperate to win to increase their chances of reaching the finals.
Europa League is of so much significance for Arsenal as it represents their only realistic opportunity to play in the Champions League next season after a disappointing campaign in the Premier League.
However, they will have to get past a spirited Villarreal side who have been fantastic both in Europe and in La Liga.
Arteta will be having a wide range of players to select from during the Estadio de la Ceramica trip, including skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexander Lacazette, both of whom are now fit.
But Sutton has cautioned the Spanish boss against rushing the duo into the starting XI, asking him to instead field the youngster to get the job done in Spain.
The ex-Chelsea star vouched for Gabriel Martinelli to be handed a starting berth up front, with Smith Rowe playing the supporting role in No.10.
He further backed Nicolas Pepe and "exciting" Bukayo Saka to take charge on either flank. Metro UK quoted Sutton saying.
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"Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are struggling to be fit for this semi-final first leg, so I’d like to see the 19-year-old Brazilian in the centre forward position.
"Behind Martinelli, I would use the improving Nicolas Pepe on the left, the exciting Emile Smith Rowe at No 10, and the lively Bukayo Saka on the right. These kids have bailed out their boss more than once this season. They can do it again."
A win for Arsenal against Unai Emery's men will see them take a huge step towards reaching the European competition's finals where they could face off against the winner between AS Roma and Man United.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Kanu Nwankwo has made a pick on his best two Arsenal players of the season with youngsters Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe making his selection.
The young Gunners have done well in the current Premier League season among the matured players and have cemented their places in Mikel Arteta's starting XI.
Saka has scored seven goals and provided six assists while Smith-Rowie has registered six assists so far in an impression full season at the Emirates.