Arsenal v Vitoria Guimares: Gunners to fire on Thursday night

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ARSENAL continue their Europa League campaign with a home tie against Portuguese outfit Vitoria Guimares at The Emirates.

Arsenal v Vitoria Guimares | Thursday 24th October 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport

Arsenal go in search of their third consecutive Europa League win against Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes on Thursday night.

It’s a quick turnaround for the Gunners after Monday night’s defeat at Sheffield United. As we saw against Standard Liege, Unai Emery isn’t scared to shuffle his pack, and that’s something you’d imagine he’d have to do ahead of Sunday’s league game against Crystal Palace.

Vitoria Guimaraes have returned to European competition this season and their campaign began back in July when they faced Luxembourg side Jeunesse D’Esch. After coming through qualifying without conceding, it has been a hard reality for Ivo Vieira’s side, who have lost both group games without scoring.

Home comforts

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last five home games against Portuguese sides (W4-D1-L0). The aggregate score across those games is 17-0, so the Gunners have proven their quality down the years.

In 2019, the Gunners have lost just two of 20 home games in all competitions – Man United in the FA Cup and Crystal Palace in the league – that’s formidable form considering 16 of those have been victories.

Their last three home games have seen them keep clean sheets too. And even though they only beat Bournemouth 1-0, it was a game they dominated and really should have had a couple more to show a real reflection of that game.

This is a game they should be winning at a canter given their opponents have struggled since reaching the group stages, while they also lost to lower league opposition in the cup at the weekend.

Willock the man

Gabriel Martinelli made the headlines after his double against Standard Liege, but the man that has caught the eye in both Europa League games, and a few league matches is Joe Willock.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed the cup competitions this season having netted in both Europa League games, plus the 5-0 dismantling of Forest in the League Cup.

He had two shots on-target against Eintracht Frankfurt and his solitary shot on goal against Liege found the back of the net.

With Alexandre Lacazette returning from injury, then he could lead the line, with Willock in behind, so the youngster could well find the net for the third time in this competition at 3/1 (Unibet).

Late runs from midfield

Lucas Torreira has played 90 minutes in both Europa League matches so far, and after not featuring on Monday, he is likely to be involved here.

The defensive midfielder does get forward with those hard to pick up late runs from deep, and on his arrival towards the area, he does pull the trigger, sometimes erratically.

In the 4-0 win over Standard Liege, he had three shots, none of which hit the target, but I’m still willing to look towards him in the shots markets.

With Guimaraes likely to be focused on stopping the Gunners’ forwards, then the little Uruguayan could find himself in space to test Joao Miguel.

He’s 5/4 with Sky Bet to have two shots in the game, while he’s 15/2 to score anytime, which might be worth a nibble – he netted the consolation in Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at Anfield.

Best Bets

Arsenal v Vitoria Guimaraes – Joe Willock to score at anytime (3/1 Unibet)

Arsenal v Vitoria Guimaraes – Lucas Torreira to have one or more shots on-target (21/10 Betfair)

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Matt is a graduate in sports journalism and is currently plying his trade as a content editor for a major betting company. He was bitten by the betting bug when backing horses and continues to do so. His main sporting interests are football, horse racing and darts. Matt is a Stoke season ticket holder and enjoys going to gigs.

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