James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images
Arsenal will be seeking to cement their place at the top of Group E in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, as they travel to Vorskla for their penultimate match of the round robin stage.
The Gunners secured their place in the knockout stages last time out with a 0-0 draw at home to Sporting CP and need four points from their last two games to ensure they finish top ahead of the Portuguese side.
With Qarabag to come at the Emirates Stadium on Matchday 6, this is arguably the most testing of the last two fixtures. Vorskla are four points behind Sporting, but can keep their hopes of qualification alive with a shock victory over Unai Emery’s team.
Here are the odds for the game, the information needed on where to catch the action and a preview of what’s to come from the Oleksiy Butovskyi Vorskla Stadium.
Vorskla win (77/19)
Arsenal win (3/4)
Odds courtesy of OddsChecker
Date: Thursday, November 29
Time: 5:55 p.m. (BST), 12:55 p.m. (ET)
TV Info: BT Sport 2 (UK)
Live Stream: BT Sport website (UK), BR Live (U.S.)
Henry Browne/Getty Images
While Arsenal will be keen to top their group in this competition, the prospect of a north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday means a number of crucial players will likely be left at home for this encounter, especially with qualification secured.
Even so, this match will give those players on the fringes of the squad and those youngsters pushing for more minutes an opportunity to make their case.
One of those who has shone when given chances in the Europa League this season is Emile Smith Rowe. He’s turned out three times in the competition and got on the scoresheet for the first time for the Gunners in the win over Qarabag.
His goal against Blackpool in the Carabao Cup saw the youngster join an select crop of players too:
Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto
In the last 10 years, 4 players have scored in more than 1 game for Arsenal aged 18 or younger:
Emile Smith Rowe https://t.co/8688krADju
Another who will surely start is Mateo Guendouzi, as the young Frenchman has been usurped in midfield by Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira lately for Premier League games. He was also on target in that win against Qarabag and while there are rough edges in his game, he’s showcased a lot of potential.
He was recently called up to the France Under-21 team and these figures from OptaJean illustrate why:
45 & 15 – Matteo Guendouzi 🇫🇷 has won 45 duels & 15 fouls in the Premier League 2018/19, more than any other player born in 1999 or after. FranceU21. https://t.co/fwj3hx7nKH
There’ll also likely be opportunities for the likes of Aaron Ramsey, who has struggled to break into the starting XI recently, and veteran Stephan Lichtsteiner. Eddie Nketiah may also get a runout up top following the injury to Danny Welbeck.
Vorskla are massive underdogs for this encounter, but showed they can be competitive in the game at the Emirates Stadium earlier in the campaign. They dug in for the opening half hour and although they conceded four times, they rallied late on to bring the game back to 4-2.
While the home supporters will be pumped up for this one, the team doesn’t come into the match in good form, having lost their last three games in a row in all competitions. The Gunners may have to hold off an early storm, but they have more than enough quality to take this one comfortably.
Prediction: Vorskla 1-3 Arsenal
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