On Thursday night, Arsenal host Qarabag in Group E of the Europa League, as the Gunners look to finish the group stage on a winning note.
In reality, this game is a classic dead rubber of a game, with very little riding on it for either side. Arsenal have already secured top spot after winning four of their five group games. Meanwhile, Qarabag are bottom of the group and have no chance of making it to the knockout stages of the competition.
There has been a clear gulf in class in Group E, as the Gunners have dominated the group. The only game Unai Emery’s side failed to win was a goalless draw against Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates on gameweek four.
Unlikely in the Premier League, Arsenal recent defensive record is a good one, as the north London side has kept clean sheets in their last four games in the Europa League.
The Gunners have only suffered one home defeat in nine games in its current guise. They are also currently unbeaten in five European games on home soil.
Despite good domestic form Qarabag have a woeful recent record in the Europa League, as the visitors have lost four of their five group games this season.
To make matters worse the team from Azerbaijan have also lost seven of their last nine matches in the competition dating back to their last spell in the Europa League in 2016. The visitors have had major problems finding the net in this competition of late, failing to score in five of their last seven games.
Unsurprisingly considering their recent record in the competition, Qarabag have lost eight of their last ten matches on their travels in European football’s secondary competition. Their recent away games in the Europa League have been low scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in four of their last five matches on their travels.
Arsenal are without Rob Holding, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Danny Welbeck due to injury, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are also doubts. Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny could come in to gain some match fitness, with Emery likely to field a highly rotated team.
Qarabag will be without Swiss forward Innocent Emeghara due to injury, so Araz Abdullayev could start the game in his place.
Arsenal are the favourites to win this clash at odds of 1/ 4, the draw is odds of 6/1 and the visitors are odds of 11/1 to record a surprise win.
The Gunners are likely to field a much-changed starting line-up for this clash, but will still be confident of recording a win.
Will Arsenal beat Qarabag to finish the group stages with a victory?