On Thursday night, Arsenal host Serbian side FK Crvena Zvezda at the Emirates Stadium in the group stages of the Europa League. A win in the clash could see the Gunners place in the knockout stages.
Arsenal have prioritised winning other competitions ahead of the Europa League. However, the team from north London have still managed to win all three of their group games so far and put themselves in pole position to win the group.
In fact, the Gunners all-round form has improved, as they have recorded four straight wins in all competitions. Arsene Wenger’s side recorded a very tight 1-0 win in the reverse fixture.
On home soil, this clash should be slightly more comfortable, as Arsenal have won their last 13 competitive games on home soil while scoring freely at the Emirates Stadium.
FK Crvena Zvezda, or Red Star Belgrade, as they are more commonly known have made a mixed start to their European campaign. The men from Belgrade have picked up four points from their first three group games and sit third in the group.
However, the visitors are vying for a qualification spot with the group’s surprise-package BATE Borisov, who are only ahead of the Serbian side on goal difference in the race for qualification.
Red Star in decent form, as they have won five of their last six games in all competitions. The only blip was that first leg defeat against Thursday’s hosts.
Despite a decent run of form, their away form in the Europa League has been poor in recent seasons. The Serbian side have won just twice in their last ten European games on their travels.
However, both of those wins have come in their last three away games in Europe’s second-tier competition.
Arsenal boss Wenger usually rotates his squad for the Europa League games. The Gunners will be without Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck, Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi through injury, while David Ospina remains a doubt.
The likes of Olivier Giroud, Reiss Nelson, Rob Holding, Joe Willock, Theo Walcott and Ainsley Maitland-Miles could all start the game.
The visitors will be without Milan Rodic through suspension, while they will also be without Branko Jovicic and Ricardo Cavalcante through injury.
Arsenal are the favourites to record a win at odds of 4/11, while the draw is 9/2 and the visitors 8/1.
The Gunners will be confident of recording a victory in this clash, even though the Serbian side are unlikely to be easy opponents.
Will Arsenal record a victory over in the Europa League on Thursday night?