On Wednesday afternoon, Vitoria Guimaraes host Arsenal at the Estadio Dom Afonso Henriques in Group F of the Europa League.
Vitoria Guimaraes (Odds of 21/10 for victory)
The Portuguese team are experienced a mixed campaign so far. They are fifth in the Primeira Liga, but they are bottom of Group F having not picked up a single point from their three games so far. The hosts have also won just once in their last six games in all competitions.
Last time out in the Europa League, Vitoria Guimaraes suffered a 3-2 defeat in the reverse fixture. The three straight group defeats were slightly surprising, as the Portuguese side were unbeaten in seven matches in the competition, having recorded five wins heading into the group stage.
Their recent outings in European football’s secondary competition have been low-scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in four of their last five outings.
Vitoria Guimaraes have a decent recent home record in the Europa League. In fact, a 1-0 home defeat earlier in the group by Eintracht Frankfurt ended a six-game unbeaten run on home soil for the hosts in this competition. Their recent home matches in the Europa League have been relatively low-scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in five of their last seven outings.
Arsenal (Odds of 6/5 for victory)
Despite a poor recent run of form, Arsenal heads into this game as favourites to record a victory. Things have not been great at Arsenal of late, as they have won just once in five matches in all competitions, with boss Unai Emery’s future with the club now a big talking point amongst the fans.
The Gunners European campaign so far has been the highlight of the season, as they have won all three of their group games comfortably so far, scoring at least three goals in each of the three wins. The team from north London have now won eight of their last nine matches in the Europa League. With last seasons 4-1 final defeat the only blip for Emery’s team in the competition.
The Gunners may have a good recent record in this particular competition, but their recent record on their travels is mixed. They have won their last three away games but had lost their previous two away matches. Their recent away matches in the Europa League have been highly entertaining and scoring, with three of their last four matches on their travels producing over 2.5 goals.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery is likely to rotate his squad, as he has done in the past in the Europa League. However, the Spaniard knows a win will virtually guarantee the Gunners place in the knockout stages and they need a win to lift morale. Therefore, they may name a strong starting line-up.
This game could be a potential banana skin for Arsenal. However, they seem to shine in the Europa League and we are backing them to record a win at odds of 6/5. We are also backing the over 3.5 goals at odds of 6/4, as the Gunners have been highly potent in attack in this competition this season. They are also highly vulnerable in defence.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 6/5 and/or over 3.5 goals scored at odds of 6/4 (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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Will Arsenal make it four wins out of four in the Europa League group stages this season?