Arsenal kick off their Europa League campaign with a game against Ukrainian minnows Vorskla Poltava, and will be confident of collecting all three points.
The Gunners, of course, will have watched on enviously as Liverpool beat PSG in the Champions League on Tuesday, though they may have taken a great deal of mirth from Tottenham’s defeat at Inter.
Nevertheless, winning the competition offers a route back to Europe’s top table, and Unai Emery’s men are in fine form heading into their meeting with Vorskla, who are currently fifth in the Ukrainian Premier League.
|Game||Arsenal vs Vorskla|
|Date||Thursday, September 20|
|Time||8pm BST / 3pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US) the game will be available to watch live on television via TNT and it can be streamed live online using B/R Live.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
The game can be watched live on television in the United Kingdom (UK) via BT Sport 2 and it can be streamed live online using the BT Sport app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2||BT Sport app|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Cech, Leno, Martinez, Iliev|
|Defenders||Bellerin, Sokratis, Koscielny, Mustafi, Lichtsteiner, Holding, Monreal, Jenkinson, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Thompson|
|Midfielders||Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Ozil, Torreira, Iwobi, Guendouzi, Xhaka|
|Forwards||Lacazette, Aubameyang, Welbeck|
Aaron Ramsey is a doubt for the game, and may be rested ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Everton this weekend.
Sead Kolasinac and Laurent Koscielny will also miss out, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles remains on the sidelines with a fibula fracture.
Nacho Monreal is the only senior left-back who is fit, but he may be rested, with youngster Dominic Thompson training with the senior squad ahead of the encounter.
Potential Arsenal XI: Leno; Bellerin, Sokratis, Holding, Thompson; Elneny, Torreira; Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck; Lacazette
|Goalkeepers||Shust, Tkachenko, Riznyk|
|Defenders||Giorgadze, Perduta, Yakubu, Sapay, Martynenko, Chyzhov, Sakiv, Dallku, Kane, Artur|
|Midfielders||Sklyar, Havelock, Sharpar, Mysyk, Chesnakov, Kravchenko, Kobakhidze, Rebenok|
|Forwards||Kadymyan, Serhiychuk, Kulach, Careca, Odaryuk, Shapoval, Kolomyets, Lyha, Vasin|
Vorskla have endured a mixed season thus far, and opened their season with a 4-1 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk, but they have won their last two outings, and come into their clash with Arsenal in good form.
A 1-0 win over Karpaty last time out came by virtue of a 91st minute Ardin Dallku goal, the defender proving that Vorskla have a number of threats that the Gunners must be aware of.
Potential Vorskla XI: Shust; Perduta, Dallku, Chesnakov, Artur; Kobakhidze, Sharpar, Sklyar, Rebenok; Kulach, Careca
Betting & Match Odds
Arsenal are overwhelming favourites with , and are priced at a mere 1/8 to win. The draw is 9/1, while Vorskla are priced at 25/1 to pull off one of the biggest upsets in Europa League history.
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Arsenal finally appear to have discovered how to play under Unai Emery.
After losing to both Manchester City and Chelsea, the Gunners have won three matches in a row, defeating West Ham, Cardiff and Newcastle, and lie seventh in the Premier League.
However, they are yet to record a single clean sheet, with Emery so far refusing to hand a debut to summer signing Bernd Leno, who many expected to become the club’s first-choice goalkeeper when he joined from Bayer Leverkusen.
This encounter with Vorskla thus offers the perfect opportunity to blood the 26-year-old German, and also to start defending properly.
The Ukrainian side finished third in the Premier League last season, and have only once before played in the group stages of the competition, in 2011-12. There they faced Hannover 96, Standard Liege and Copenhagen, and collected two points, finishing fourth.
They may struggle to beat a side managed by Emery, however, the manager having won three Europa League titles during his time at Sevilla.