On Thursday night, Arsenal host Standard Liege at the Emirates Stadium in Group F of the Europa League. Both teams won their opening group match, so are looking to continue their hundred per cent start to their European campaign.
Arsenal (Odds of 1/3 for victory)
The Gunners have enjoyed a decent start to their campaign overall. Last time out, Unai Emery’s side recorded a 1-1 draw at Manchester United. The draw makes Arsenal six games unbeaten in all competitions.
One of those games saw Emery’s team record an impressive 3-0 away win at Bundesliga Eintracht Frankfurt in gameweek one of this competition, which we predicted would happen. The victory in Frankfurt means that Arsenal have now won six of their last seven matches in the Europa League.
The one exception was a 4-1 final defeat last season against London rivals Chelsea. The previous season, the Gunners had made it to the semi-finals of the competition, only to suffer elimination at the hands of eventual winners Atletico Madrid.
Arsenal have a very good home record in this competition in its current guise, as they have won eight of their last ten home matches while recording five straight victories at the Emirates. The north London side has also just one of their 14 home games in the Europa League.
Gunners boss Emery rotated his starting line-up in gameweek one and is likely to do the same for this clash, especially after playing on Monday.
Standard Liege (Odds of 7/1 for victory)
The visitors head into this difficult clash in good form after a stellar start to their domestic campaign. The Belgian team also made a good start to their Europa League campaign by recording a 2-0 victory over Vitoria Guimaraes on matchday one.
The win means that Standard are now unbeaten in the Europa League in three games dating back to last season’s group stages. They have also not conceded during their mini-unbeaten run. The visitors have also lost just one of their last six matches in the competition, recording an impressive four victories in the process.
The visitors have a poor recent away record in the Europa League, winning just once in the last seven games on their travels. If you go slightly further back, they have won just two of their last 14 away games in Europe’s secondary competition. A trip to the Emirates Stadium is not exactly a cure-all for poor away form that’s for certain.[reviewTableLarge ids=”620,639,642″ title=”Best betting sites to place bet on this game are:”]
Arsenal are usually formidable opponents on home soil, in every competition. Meanwhile, Standard Liege are in good form, so they will be hoping to take something from their trip to north London.
In reality, though, they are likely to leave the Emirates Stadium empty-handed, even if Emery does decide to rest some of the Gunners better players. We are backing the home win at 1/3, boring we know, but it looks a pretty safe bet.
Arsenal are generally prolific on home soil, which could lead to a high-scoring encounter, so the over 2.5 goals scored at 4/7 does not a terrible bet.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 1/3 and/or over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/7.
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Will Arsenal keep up their hundred per cent record in the Europa League this season?