The UEFA Europa League is back in our lives this week as the season prepares for a period of real chaos when it comes to just how many games are going to be played. Arsenal are once again going to be attempting to win this competition and break back into the UEFA Champions League, but at the same time, there are plenty of hungry clubs across the continent who are ready and willing to give them a run for their money.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Gunners’ intriguing Thursday night clash against Rapid Wien.
RB Salzburg are still considered to be the big dogs in Austrian football but right now, Wien are doing everything in their power to change that. With three wins and one draw in their first four games of the league season it’s clear to see they’re gearing up for a war and even if they don’t come out on top, they’re the kind of side that will keep fighting until their last breath. They’ll be the underdogs heading into this game but if there’s one thing we’ve come to learn from Arsenal in Europe, it’s to expect the unexpected.
Mikel Arteta will be eager to wash away the disappointment of the Gunners’ defeat against Manchester City at the weekend, and yet, many will question whether or not he will – or perhaps even should – put out a full strength team for this trip. Arsenal are almost nailed on to reach the knockout stages and they can afford to take their foot off of the gas on an away day like this, and while that may rub some people the wrong way, that’s what happens when you’re involved in so many different competitions.
Arsenal should be able to come away with all three points from this one and we’d be pretty surprised if that didn’t turn out to be the case. Arteta is obviously bound to have one eye on the Leicester game but there is a whole lot of untapped potential residing in this Arsenal squad and it’s time for certain players to start living up to that. We do believe Rapid Wien will play it close and we actually think they might pinch a goal, but the end result will be a comfortable enough win for Arsenal to get this journey started in the right way.
Will Arsenal secure all three points against Rapid Wien?