Arsenal were full of life as they boarded their private plane at Luton Airport on Wednesday, just over 24 hours out from their Europa League last-16 tie. Arsenal are heading to Ligue 1 Rennes, where they are big favourites to overcome the French side in the two-legged European clash.
Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka, Sead Kolasinac and Matteo Guendouzi were among the players smiling from ear to ear as they battled against the elements at Luton. Unlike members of the public, the Arsenal stars were able to skip the arduous security checks at the aiport, getting a coach straight to the steps of their plane. Some, like Guendouzi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, carried over-the-shoulder bags, while others opted for a simple rucksack. Arsenal go into the game in impressive European form, having romped through their group before beating BATE Borisov with ease in the last 32.
If they overcome Rennes, Unai Emery’s side will be in the quarter-finals of the competition, and will be one of the favourites to go all the way. The Europa League is a welcome break for Arsenal, who are currently embroiled in a tight battle for the top four with Chelsea and Manchester United.
Currently it is United who occupy the final Champions League spot, but Arsenal have the chance to leapfrop them when the two sides meet on Sunday afternoon. Until then, though, it is all eyes on Rennes and a potential place in the last eight of the Europa League.