Arsenal will look to continue their perfect run in the UEFA Europa League on Wednesday, when they visit Portugal to take on Vitoria de Guimaraes.
Caesars has handed the hosts odds of +235 (bet $100 to win $235), while the Gunners are favourites at +110. A draw comes in at +260. Arsenal narrowly won the first meeting at the Emirates Stadium, with Nicolas Pepe scoring two late goals in the 3-2 triumph.
The match will start at 3:50 p.m. GMT/10:50 a.m. ET. Fans can watch via BT Sport Live (UK) or B/R Live (U.S.).
Arsenal may have a perfect record in the Europa League, but they only barely clung on to that record the last time these teams met, and things haven’t gone smoothly since.
The Gunners are winless in their three matches since, two draws in the Premier League and a penalty shootout loss against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.
The last outing was a 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton that made Unai Emery’s position as manager even less stable. According to the London Evening Standard‘s James Olley, the club board still has faith in the tactician:
James Olley @JamesOlley
A take on Unai Emery’s situation at #afc. There remains genuine hope at boardroom level he can still take #afc forward but the problems are mounting. Piece here: https://t.co/v07rAyZSHx
Goal’s Charles Watts has seen enough, however:
Charles Watts @charles_watts
Why wait? Are there really any signs that things will improve?
A look at why Arsenal must seriously consider making a change now – before it’s too late. https://t.co/5rzDgIbYYX
The Europa League is likely one of the main reasons the club still has faith in Emery, after he guided the Gunners to the final last year.
Arsenal are fifth in the Premier League, picking up just 17 points in 11 matches and trailing Liverpool by 14 points.
Guimaraes also sit fifth in their domestic league, with 16 points earned from 10 matches in the Primeira Liga. They have played three times since the loss in London, picking up four points.
In Europe, they have lost all three of their group-stage matches this season, and the two goals they scored in London are their only ones so far. All three of their losses were relatively close affairs, however.
Pepe did not come off the bench against Wolves but should see more action in Portugal after his starring role in the first meeting.
This is another must-win for Emery, who needs to build some momentum ahead of a difficult Premier League outing against Leicester City. The Gunners will visit the Foxes on Saturday and will likely rest a few key starters in midweek as a result, so expect Gabriel Martinelli, Joe Willock and other youngsters to get some playing time in Portugal.
Prediction: Guimaraes 1-1 Arsenal
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