Arsenal head to Sweden to face Ostersunds in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie, knowing that - after North London derby defeat at the weekend - the competition now represents their best chance of reaching next year's Champions League.
Jamtkraft Arena, Ostersund, Sweden 15 Feb 2018 6:00 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: Arsenal have never lost to Swedish opposition in Europe - winning three and drawing one of the four matches they have played.
Expert Verdict: Arsenal head to Sweden to take on Graham Potter's Ostersunds team, knowing they will have to conquer both the frozen conditions and the plucky underdogs who are hosting them. The Gunners are favourites, and have the advantage of being in the thick of their season whereas Ostersunds have played just one competitive match since the Europa League group stage, but Arsene Wenger's side will still need to be at their best on Thursday night.
Since the group stages, Gabriel Somi and Fouad Bachirou have departed Ostersunds, with Dennis Widgren set to play at left-back in place of the former, and new signing Tesfaldet Tekie signed to replace the latter.
Strikers Saman Ghoddos and Alhaji Gero both scored two goals apiece in the group stage for Ostersunds. Ghoddos was also top scorer in last season's Allsvenskan for Graham Potter's team.
Ostersunds have played just once competitive match since the Europa League group stage - last Friday's 3-0 Svenska Cupen win at home to Trelleborg. Prior to that, their only other action since the new year was a couple of friendlies, in which they lost to GIF Sundsvall and drew 3-3 with Lokomotiv Moscow.
Defenders:Mukiibi, Papgiannopoulos, Pettersson
Defensive Midfielders:Edwards, Tekie, Nouri, Widgren
Attacking Midfielders:Sema, Ghoddos
Having opted to rotate his squad players through the group stages, Arsene Wenger has promised to field a full-strength team as Arsenal now target Europa League glory. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible and Alexandre Lacazette is expected to replace him up front, but the team is otherwise likely to be similar to that which started against Tottenham at the weekend. Aaron Ramsey missed the Spurs defeat with a groin strain, and Jack Wilshere is set to continue in his place in midfield.
While Aubameyang is ineligible to play in the Europa League, Arsenal do have new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan available. The Armenian international scored six goals in 11 Europa League matches as Manchester United won last year’s competition.
Arsenal have lost two of their last three matches in the Premier League, with defeat in Saturday's North London derby and a shock 3-1 reverse at Swansea sandwiching a 5-1 home win against Everton. Away from home, Arsenal are without a win in six - losing four of those - and have won just two of their last 12 in all competitions.
Defenders:Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal
Defensive Midfielders:Wilshere, Xhaka
Attacking Midfielders:Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi
The two teams have never met each other before. In Europe, Arsenal are unbeaten against Swedish opposition, but this is Ostersunds first year in the Europa League and they are yet to play against an English team.
This could be a trickier team than anticipated for Arsenal - they are in woeful form away from home, and face a team yet to lose at home in the Europa League in tricky conditions.
But Ostersunds know they are not expected to take anything from this match - Arsenal leaked chances against Spurs at the weekend, but their defensive unit should be more than good enough to contain Ostersunds’ attacking trio.
The Swedish team are also at a slight disadvantage in that they are short of match practice of late - they have played just one competitive match since the end of the Europa League group stage, albeit a game they won 3-0 in the cup.
Arsenal have promised to field a full-strength team, with their FA Cup exit giving them a full week off between the two legs against Ostersunds, and that includes plenty of players with points to prove - not least Alexandre Lacazette, who has made an underwhelming contribution in his first Arsenal season.
Arsenal should win, and should win relatively comfortably - but this will not be a walkover either.
Arsenal are clear favourites to win on Thursday, and are 4/9 with William Hill and Ladbrokes to do just that.
Ostersunds were not prolific in front of goal in the group stages, meanwhile, and you can bet against both teams to score at 4/5 with Ladbrokes and Betfair.
Alexandre Lacazette has a point to prove up front on Thursday, after squandering some great chance against Spurs at the weekend, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan might be a better shout for anytime goalscorer.
The Armenian was a key figure in Man United's Europa League win last year, and he is 21/10 to score at any time on Thursday with Bet365.
Ostersunds will be a tricky fixture for Arsenal to negotiate, but they will expect nothing less than an end to their recent poor run away from home and a solid lead to take back to London for the second leg.