Prediction & odds for the game: Standard Liege (23/10) v Arsenal (21/20)
When: Thursday, 12th December 2019 @ 5.55pm K.O
Where: Stade de Sclessin
Standard Liege will attempt to pull off a sensational win over Arsenal as they square off for a place in the knockout stage of the UEFA Europa League.
While Standard Liege as a club have featured in some controversial moments in the Europa League this season, they’re still in with a decent enough chance of qualifying if results wind up going their way. They’re a compact side that aren’t afraid to get physical, and they never really seem to blow teams out of the water one way or the other. We’re expecting them to come flying out of the gates in this instance, though, because they’re well aware of what is on the line.
Standard’s only defeat in their last six came against Mechelen in the league, although draws against Vitoria in the Europa League and Mouscron in the Belgian First Division have certainly set them back a little bit. However, they have managed to secure wins over Eintracht Frankfurt, KAS Eupen and Cercle Brugge as of late.
Freddie Ljungberg’s brief run as caretaker manager of Arsenal Football Club has been odd to say the least, and with many people questioning his future at the Emirates, it’ll be interesting to see how he winds up approaching this game – as well as the remainder of the Christmas period. This is a club that is more than capable of going on to win the entire Europa League, but they just don’t seem capable of taking that next step right now. Whether or not that changes will largely be determined in the next few weeks.
Arsenal’s win over West Ham United was their first in a long old while, and many are hoping it kickstarts a comeback of sorts for the club this season. It followed incredibly disappointing draws to Southampton and Norwich, in addition to defeats at the hands of Leicester, Eintracht Frankfurt and Brighton & Hove Albion.
It’s going to be a pretty interesting game to say the least, with many expecting to see Arsenal rest a whole bunch of top stars in the name of putting the emphasis on the Premier League. While we do expect the Gunners to struggle at times here with the Belgian crowd really getting behind their side, we expect Arsenal’s youngsters (as well as any senior players that start) to make the sort of impact that would imply they’re ready and willing to make a surge for a place in the starting XI.
It’s probably going to be a little bit scrappy here and there but more often than not that can lead to a great deal of entertainment, which is why we’re backing the over 2.5 goal threshold.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 21/20 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/7. (All odds are taken from bet365).