The Europa League is set to return tonight as the Gunners are given the opportunity to extend their advantage in their group and take another step towards the knockout stage of the Europa League. Over the course of the last few years it’s been pretty standard for the club to get through this portion of the Europa League test, and it’s only really from the Round of 32 onwards that they tend to have a little bit of trouble.
The expectation is that they’re going to run through Vitoria at the Emirates, but as we’ve come to learn, expecting the unexpected from Unai Emery’s men is a much smarter way to go.
Arsenal need to shake off the cobwebs as they attempt to return to winning ways following a disappointing loss to Sheffield United. The Europa League always seems to help them get back on the winning trail with a positive performance or two, and given that they’re top of the table already, they won’t be too concerned about putting out the strongest XI.
Because of that, you’d think Emery will have less pressure on his shoulders than usual regarding the team selection – but Arsenal fans don’t seem to function like that.
At this moment in time Vitoria are currently situated in fourth place in the Primeira Liga, seven points off the pace at the top of the table. They should be fairly happy with that in terms of the progress that they’re making as a team, and even though they’re going to be big underdogs in this game, you’d have to imagine they will fancy their chances of just going for it against the Gunners. After all, they’ve got nothing to lose.
They’re currently bottom of the table in Group F, having suffered narrow defeats to Standard Liege and Eintracht Frankfurt – but they still won’t go down without a fight.
We think it’ll be an incredibly one sided game of football with Arsenal keeping a clean sheet and sticking three or four past their Portuguese opposition. There will be moments in which the visitors are able to get in behind and play a bit of decent football, but that isn’t going to last all too long. This has a home win written all over it, with a lot of changes given that it’s only been three days since the trip to Bramall Lane.
Can Arsenal get the job done against Vitoria SC?