Rennes manager Julien Stephan has admitted it’s a surprise that Alex Lacazette will be available to face his team tomorrow night.

The French side come to the Emirates with a 3-1 lead from the first leg, but were expecting the Gunners to be without a key component in their attack – something which would have made their lives a bit easier.

However, this week UEFA reduced the three game suspension to two, meaning he can face the Ligue 1 outfit if selected.

Speaking ahead of the game, Stephan said, “The timing is rather surprising for everyone involved.

“We didn’t think he would be included up until yesterday evening. They have decided to reduce his sanction from three to two games and that is great for him.

“Now we are going to have to prepare with that in mind.”

It’s not the first odd decision surrounding this tie, as Rennes were supposed to play at home in the second leg, but this was changed shortly after the draw was made.

“The first thing that was a bit strange was changing the first and second leg,” continued the 38 year old .

“This is now the second thing that has happened that changes. Hopefully, there will not be any more surprises and the referee tomorrow will be great.”

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Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Rennes….the Arsenal of Ligue 1

Chickenshite

Lord Bendtner… well I have nothing more to add

Leno me, I’ll be your friend
Leno me, I’ll be your friend

LB’s been a decent commenter on here for a while, so give him the benefit of the doubt. Pretty sure, especially given the context of the article, all he meant was that Rennes are getting some dodgy decisions go against them – our usual scenario. Laca is ace, and he was bullied into that red card, but you have to admit, if you were a Rennes fan this would all seem suspicious as hell. Even as a lifelong Gooner I do feel like we’ve been given preferential treatment due to our big status in this cup. Don’t get me wrong it feels nice to be on the decent end of a decision, but if we were up against a bigger team I’m not so sure our case would have won the appeal.

Leno me, I’ll be your friend
Leno me, I’ll be your friend

‘dodgy decisions’ as in if you were in their (Rennes) shoes you may feel hard done by, regardless of whether UEFA can justify the action or not.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Hope the referee doesn’t try to compensate Rennes with a PK or denying our 2-0 goal.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Conspiracy theory

Mpls
Mpls

Isn’t that pretty much what we do around here? 🙂

Mpls
Mpls

Raul joins us from Barcelona.
UEFA calls start going our way.
Hmmmmm.

Now THAT is a conspiracy theory!

A Different George
A Different George

Certainly, we always complain about how clubs like Madrid, Barca, and Bayern get special treatment in scheduling and discipline because UEFA doesn’t want the top teams knocked out early. Well, in this competition, we (and Chelsea) are the big clubs.

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

Hahaha Thank you Leno me, I will definitely be your friend.
I’m no Fatgooner tryna throw in one controversial comment after another 😉

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

Surprise mother fucker

BidOnLard
BidOnLard

Now guess who’s coming to dinner!

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

Carolina

Mega
Mega

Some fries mother fucker

OnlyBeingHonest
OnlyBeingHonest

supplies mother fucker

Mpls
Mpls

Sartre lies, Brother Tucker.

Lettra
Lettra

Heh not vey subtle in what he is implying.
Dont worry Rennes no more surprises.
And the ref for tomorrow will be great.

This just in tommorows referee is Steve Bould everyone. Could this be an advantage to the team coming to defend, well see.

Dastardlydick
Dastardlydick

Rennes already had a big favour handed them by the French FA. They had their game postponed to give them a rest before their home tie. And Sokratis gave them a helping hand by vacating the field early. C’mon! Stop moaning.

Chickenshite

If only English FA were that considerate, at least they let Kane, Alli and Son dive away without reprieve the clowns

Confused
Confused

As a Gooner and a football lover I say he’s got a point…a straight red (right or wrong) is a 3 gamer…it has now been turned into a 2 gamer…i reckon UEFA worked out Arsenal is better box-office (and more revenue) than an obscure team from Brittany…this is the way football is going, I don’t like it and it wont be long now before i get off this particular bandwagon and start tending to my allotment instead.

SB Still
SB Still

Hmm how about…RVP being sent-off against Barca for kicking the 2 secs after the ref’s whistle to stop play?

Financial Fair Play – Chelsea, ManC buying the titles?

Going back earlier, Fergi, his ‘influence’ and Fergi time.

This time we are benefiting but I don’t think the football world was ever fair – FIFA, UEFA, World Cup venues, the list goes on!

Bob's Mexican Cousin
Bob's Mexican Cousin

Why stop at football? The have-nots have less and less, each day.

Chickenshite

Trump becoming US President has got be top of the list

And_Unai_Said..
And_Unai_Said..

Supporting Arsenal is “this particular bandwagon”?? You really should have got off and joined the Man.City bandwagon in 2008.

Confused
Confused

Football is the bandwagon in question…

GraeB
GraeB

Confused you must be. A straight red is a two game ban in EUFA but they added another game because of the severity of the crime (??) – that’s where inconsistency came in and was rightly reversed on appeal.

Fixture reversal was presumably down to conflict with Chelski games and need to maximise TV revenue. We had the early kick off second leg last time, so their turn this time.

All clear now?

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

Well said Sir no conspiracy here move along…😄

Confused
Confused

Clear as mud. Rule 48.1 of the UEFA Regs stipulates 1 match ban for a straight red which can be augmented depending on the perceived severity and mood of the disciplinary committee…hope that helps.

Jack gunner
Jack gunner

Why shd he be surprised?Lacazette was goaded into retaliating. Perhaps UEFA and the
FA shd punish the perpetrators who deliberately provoked the victim.
These guys shd perhaps be given a 5 to 10 match ban .Then maybe we will see
an end to this type of incidents.
BTw,Ronaldo scored a penalty against AM for a gentle nudge by Juventus player.
The push by Fred on Lacazette was a 100% penalty. I disagree with some analysts
who said it did not warrant apenalty.

Naked cygan
Naked cygan

UEFA just feels bad for us with all the shit we have been through.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Yeah will be great if the ref sends off one of your players and see how you deal with it!!!

Gudang Bedil
Gudang Bedil

Nah, they were playing dirty in the first leg afterall, fell too easily and looking for a foul everytime. So a well deserved surprise.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

UEFA are amoeboid in nature.

chopper4001
chopper4001

I’m coming to despise the Europa League. Having to play teams that see the match against you as the “biggest european tie” in their history just gives the opposition (and its fans) something to go nuts about.

Please let us get back to playing teams like Lyon and Inter who, while easy fodder the mighty Arsenal, at least have some pedigree in Europe.

That’s not a slight on Rennes by the way (or Koln last year), I hope they come to dominate Ligue Un for years to come, just lets have a bad game tonight eh lads. Let the obviously better (more expensive) team win. 😉

Kiwamya
Kiwamya

He elbowed a chap in the face due to frustration, 3 game ban seemed reasonable to me. If a ban was overturned like this for the benifit of our rivals we would be outraged and crying conspiracy!

Confused
Confused

Exactly my point…2 wrongs dont make a right

Vonnie
Vonnie

The elbow wasn’t to the face and the guy was all over him, their players were throwing themselves to the ground holding their faces every time a player came near them, so I’m glad they’re upset, they’re a horrible divey cheatey team. Hopefully we get a strong ref, and if not then maybe the home fans can intimidate him like theirs did. COYG!

Kiwamya
Kiwamya

We love our own new found ‘shithousing’ but moan about everyone else doing it as ‘horrible divey cheaty’

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

That’s just part of the shit housing though

Vonnie
Vonnie

I think there’s a big difference between standing up for yourself and being divey and cheaty, which is why I love Kos and Papa, and don’t like Lichtsteiner, who stirs shit for the sake of it. I never want us to stoop to the level of the goblins down the road, who throw themselves on the floor, smash their elbows into everyone’s faces and set out to hurt players, like their cousins the Orcs; but a bit of wind up, like the Mertesacker/Holding job they did to Costa is delicious. There’s a big difference as far as I’m concerned.

Rahul
Rahul

Let’s hope, laca surprises them for real, with a hat trick in first half!😈