Arsenal – BATE Borisov (Europa League)
Arsenal and BATE Borisov face each other this Thursday night at the Emirates Stadium, in London, for the matchday 6 of Group H of the Europa League. The Gunners arrive here only to meet schedule, since they are already qualified to the next stage of the competition as group leaders, and may even be a little unmotivated after a bitter defeat at home against rivals Manchester United. BATE Borisov, on their turn, have little chances of progressing in the competition, since besides needing a victory here, they also need a draw between the other two teams of Group H.
Arsenal are group leaders with 10 points from their 5 matches played, 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat, with 8 goals scored and 4 goals conceded. Arsenal lost in the last round of the Europa League, at FC Koln home, conceding the only defeat in the five matches played, but without influencing anything in their qualification, since their qualification as group leaders is already secured. In their only two matches played at home for Europa League, the Gunners won 1 match and drew the other, scoring 3 goals and conceding 1 in the process.
As for their campaign in the Premier League, Arsenal saw their invincible home record come to an end at the weekend, losing the first of 8 games, having won the remaining 7. On the next round of Premier League, Arsenal face a trip to Southampton’s ground, and once they are already qualified to the next stage of the competition, coach Arsène Wenger is expect to make wholesale changes in the starting XI.
In their last 5 official matches, Arsenal has a record of 3 victories and 2 defeats. This sequence of results started with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham. This result was followed by 1-0 defeat against FC Koln, for Europa League, a 0-1 victory against Burnley, a 5-0 victory over Huddersfield Town, and in their last match, a 1-3 defeat against Manchester United.
Probable Lineup: Ospina – Debuchy, Mertesacker and Holding – Chambers, Coquelin, Elneny and Maitland-Niles – Wilshere and Welbeck – Giroud.
BATE Borisov, on their turn, are bottom of the group with 5 points, result of 1 victory, 2 draws and 2 defeats, with 6 goals scored and 10 goals conceded. Despite being in last place, it is still mathematically possible for the Belarusians to qualify for the next stage of the competition, although to achieve it is much easier said than done. BATE would have to win here against Arsenal, and FC Koln and Crvena Zvezda would have to draw in the other Group H match, so that they could get past the two, both with 6 points.
The Belarus Premier League is already finished and BATE was, once again, crowned champions, with the team arriving here with no other competition to worry about, but this could also be their last Europa League match. The Belarusians have not won any of their 2 away matches in this competition, drawing 1-1 against Crvena Zvezda, and losing 5-2 against FC Koln. Alexandr Yermakovich’s men have to win here in order to do everything in their power to advance to the next stage.
In their last 5 official matches, BATE Borisov has a record of 2 victories, 2 draws and 1 defeat. This sequence of results started with a 5-2 defeat against FC Koln, for Europa League. This result was followed by a 2-4 victory against Torpedo Zhodino, a 3-1 victory over Neman, a 0-0 draw against Crvena Zvezda, for Europa League, and in their last match, a 3-3 draw against FC Gorodeya.
Probable Lineup: Scherbitski – Rios, Milunovic, Buljat and Polyakov – Baga and Dragun – Stasevich, Ivanic and Gordejchuk – Signevich.
Arsenal has won their only direct clash.
Europa League 2017/18
With Arsenal already qualified, expect wholesale changes in the London side starting XI, whereas BATE Borisov will do everything in their power to get the 3 points in order to have a chance of progressing in the competition, although that may not be enough.