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Alexandre Lacazette free to face Rennes after UEFA ban reduced

Following their Europa League defeat at BATE Borisov, ESPN FC's Paul Mariner takes Arsenal to task for their less-than-impressive showing.
Steve Nicol breaks down Manchester United's first Premier League loss under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Alexandre Lacazette will be available for Arsenal's UEFA Europa League round-of-16 second-leg clash against Rennes on Thursday but Henrikh Mkhitaryan faces a late fitness test.

France forward Lacazette was sanctioned after receiving a red card for a foul on BATE Borisov defender Aleksandar Filipovic in the first leg of their round-of-32 tie in February.

UEFA initially ruled the foul constituted serious rough play but Arsenal have successfully appealed against the ban, which has been reduced to two games.

"The appeal lodged by Arsenal FC has been partially upheld", UEFA said in a statement confirming Lacazette had already served both games of his sanction.

Mkhitaryan, meanwhile, has a mild back strain and will be assessed ahead of the game but defender Sokratis Papastaphopoulos will definitely be missing for Arsenal after he was dismissed for two yellow cards in Rennes.

Lacazette, 27, saw a goal ruled out in Borisov before seeing red for swinging an elbow at Filipovic in the closing stages.

That meant he missed the second leg against BATE and Arsenal's 3-1 defeat in Rennes in the first leg of the round of 16.

The result leaves Arsenal with a mountain to climb at the Emirates Stadium as they bid to return to the latter stages of the tournament.

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