Prediction and odds for the game: Rapid Vienna (5/1) v Arsenal (8/15)
We are backing both teams to score at odds of 3/4
When: Thursday, 22nd October 2020, Kick-off 17:55
Where: The Allianz Stadion
On Thursday evening, Arsenal kick-off their Europa League campaign with a potentially tricky trip to Austria to face Rapid Vienna.
The home side has made a solid start to their domestic campaign, picking up ten points from a possible 12 in their opening four Bundesliga matches. They head into this clash on the back of a four-game unbeaten run in all competitions, recording three wins. Last time out, they recorded a 5-1 win at Wiener Neustadt in the second round of the cup.
The Austrian team started the season off in the Champions League qualifying rounds, but exited the competition at the third qualifying round, suffering a 2-1 defeat against Belgian side Gent to drop down into this competition.
Rapid did relatively well in the Europa League in season 2018/19, winning two of their three group games before suffering elimination in the last 32 by Inter, losing 5-0 on aggregate.
They have a mixed recent overall record in the Europa League, but a record of just two wins in their previous seven outings does not bode well for a home win in this clash. However, they are have been hard to beat on home soil of late in European football’s secondary competition, losing just once in their previous nine matches.
The Europa League offers Arsenal the real opportunity of winning more silverware and also another route into the Champions League for next season. The Gunners have endured a mixed start to the new campaign, though. Mikel Arteta’s team have already faced last season’s top two in the Premier League, Liverpool and Manchester City.
The Gunners recent record in the Europa League is poor, as the team from north London have won just one of their last five games in the competition. They exited the competition in the last-32 last season, losing out to Greek side Olympiakos.
Unconvincing defensive displays have played a big part in Arsenal’s recent poor results in the Europa League, as they have kept just one clean in their last six matches. On the flip-side, the Gunners have only failed to find the net once in their last 16 games in the Europa League, which was last time out on home soil in a 1-0 defeat against Olympiakos.
Arsenal are unbeaten in four games in European football’s secondary competition. However, they have won just two of their last five European games on their travels.
Arsenal are the favourites to come out on top, but Rapid Vienna will not lie down easily. We are not going to back a winner but instead look at the goal market. The first bet we are backing is both teams to score, as neither have been great in defence and posses good attacking threats. The other bet we are recommending is for Rapid striker Taxiarchis Fountas to be an anytime goalscorer. The Greek forward has scored seven goals in five games in all competitions. He will fancy his chances of scoring in this clash.
Verdict: We are backing both teams to score at odds of 3/4 and/or Taxiarchis Fountas to be an anytime goalscorer at odds of 2/1. (All odds are taken from Bet365).
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Which team will kick-off their Europa League campaign with a victory?