The Arsenal lineup that should start against Olympiacos

Mikel Arteta takes his Arsenal side to Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis on Thursday night to face Olympiacos in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie.

The Gunners have been in a rich vein of form recently, only losing to Manchester City in their last six games, and qualified for this stage of the competition after dramatically seeing off Benfica 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium.

Their hosts will represent very tough opposition. Olympiacos are top of the Greek Super League by 16 points and have lost just one league game all season, while it was only last year that they overturned a 1-0 first leg defeat with a 2-1 win at the Emirates to knock Arsenal out of the Europa League at the round of 32 stage.

To come out on top in this one, here are 90min's picks for the Gunners' starting XI.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Pablo Mari has looked very assured in recent weeks | Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Bernd Leno (GK) - Remains Arteta's preferred option between the sticks no matter the competition, and has momentum on his side after a decent showing last time out.

Hector Bellerin (RB) - Hasn't featured for the Gunners since the win against Benfica, but could return to provide real pace and a threat going forward.

David Luiz (CB) - The Brazilian has been in good shape of late, and even scored at Leicester. Will have to be alert against a potent Olympiacos attack.

Pablo Mari (CB) - Although Gabriel is likely to be fit enough to return, Mari deserves to get the nod because of some fantastic displays in recent weeks.

Kieran Tierney (LB) - A certainty to start on the left, Tierney has become more and more crucial to Arteta's side and can really affect the game at both ends.

2. Midfielders

Martin Odegaard has shown glimpses of quality for Arsenal | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Granit Xhaka (CM) - Has been rather up and down with his form lately and, despite his pass resulting in a comical Burnley goal at the weekend, hasn't missed a game since 22 December.

Thomas Partey (CM) - Has featured in each of Arsenal's last three games and has shown he can really make an impact from midfield.

Martin Odegaard (AM) - No goals or assists for the Gunners yet, but it's just a matter of time before his influence is reflected in his numbers. Emile Smith Rowe remains a doubt, increasing the Norwegian's chances of starting.

3. Forwards

Bukayo Saka (RW) - Became the second youngest Arsenal player to reach 50 Premier League appearances against Burnley, and is becoming a must-pick in big games.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) - The skipper has scored six in his last six, including a brace that sent Arsenal through to the round of 16 at the expense of Benfica.

Nicolas Pepe (LW) - Was surprisingly benched against Burnley in favour of Willian returning to the side, but three goals and three assists in this competition should enable him to return.

Source : 90min