Group H winners Arsenal welcome Belorussian side BATE Borisov to London on Thursday night in the Europa League with the away side looking to win and advance.
Emirates Stadium, London, England 07 Dec 2017 8:05 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: BATE's away record in Europe this season includes two wins, a draw, and two losses.
Expert Verdict: BATE Borisov will come into this must-win match knowing that they are going to have to have one of their best ever performances in order to get out of this group. The Emirates is a daunting task for any side, even when you are playing against youngsters, and Arsenal will use that and win to round out the group.
Arsene Wenger will be without injured center midfielder Santi Cazorla and center back Shkodran Mustafi for this match. Look for a lot of rotation, as has been the norm of late for the Gunners in this tournament.
The Gunners have a ton of options, but it is clear which ones are preferred. In order to have any chance of breaking past that, players like Danny Welbeck will need to show well here. The English forward has had his ups and downs, and it will take better showings than the one at Cologne to impress the boss and get him into the starting XI for the bigger matches to come.
Arsenal have two losses and three wins in their last five matches:
1-3 home loss vs Manchester United
5-0 home win vs Huddersfield Town
0-1 win at Burnley
1-0 loss at Cologne (UEL)
2-0 home vs Tottenham
Defenders:Mertesacker, Debuchy, Holding
Midfielders:Chambers, Coquelin, Elneny, Maitland-Niles
Forwards:Wilshere, Welbeck, Giroud
Aleksandr Yermakovich has no injuries or suspensions to account for here as they seek to upset the odds and move on in the tournament.
BATE's hopes of moving on in the tournament don't rest fully on them, but they still have to win in London. They will need a fine performance from Mikhail Gordejchuk if they are to have a chance of doing so. The Belorussian had 18 goals in the league to pace his side easily but has just one in the Europa League. He also has one assist, and he will need to play very well to give his side hope in this one.
BATE have two draws and three wins in their last five matches:
3-3 draw at Gorodeya
0-0 home draw vs Red Star Belgrade (UEL)
3-1 home win vs Neman Grodno
2-1 home extra time win vs Torpedo Belaz (Cup)
2-4 win at Torpedo Belaz
Defenders:Rios, Milunovic, Buljat, Polyakov
Defensive Midfielders:Volodjko, Dragun
Attacking Midfielders:Gordejchuk, Ivanic, Stasevich
Arsenal won in Belarus back in September by a score of 2-4 in the first ever meeting between these two sides. Theo Walcott had scored twice and Rob Holding added goal before Mirko Ivanic pulled on back for BATE. Olivier Giroud scored the Gunners' fourth and then Mikhail Gordeychuk finished the scoring on the evening.
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Arsenal are at 4/11 to win, a draw is at 17/4, and a BATE Borisov win is at 6/1.
Arsenal have already clinched qualification to the next round, and they have done so as group winners. They have ten points from their five matches already, and they even lost last round and still clinched it before this final match day.
As for BATE Borisov, they are going to need a win as well as some help to move on. The Belorussians are bottom of the group as things stand with five points. With both Red Star and Cologne on six ahead of them, a draw in that match coupled with a win in London would jump them to eight and into the round of 32 come February.
Arsenal have picked up four points from home matches in the group so far. Overall, they have been brilliant at the Emirates this season. They have ten wins, one draw, and one loss there so far. As for BATE, they began their European trek in the UCL. They lost once and won once in away matches there, and then won away in a UEL qualifcation round as well. In the group, they have just a point from two matches away from home. Overall, they have 13 wins, four draws, and six losses at home this term.
BATE's season ended on the 26th of November, so they won't be at their optimum best for this match, so that could help the Gunners out a little.
Both teams to score is set at 7/10 via Ladbrokes.
Arsenal have been rotating a great deal in this competition so far, and it has largely paid off. They will know that BATE are in a must-win spot, but they will do enough to prevent their visitors from moving on in the tournament.