Slavia Prague vs Arsenal | Thursday 15th April 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
Arsenal now have a huge task on their hands and need to go and score in Prague in order to qualify for the semi-finals of the Europa League.
It was an extremely lax piece of defending that let Slavia’s Tomas Holes round the back post in the 93rd minute to head home. Arsenal were the better side on the night but poor finishing cost them an earlier lead.
That said, in the first leg we put up Slavia +1 on the Asian lines which copped at shades of even money. Arsenal went off at 1/2 in the first leg and they’re still odds-on here, trading at 4/5. Prices like that on Arsenal away from home just shouldn’t be touched in my opinion.
Arsenal were without their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last weekend at Sheffield United due to flu, as well as Bukayo Saka who limped off at Bramall Lane. But the duo should be fit enough to travel to the Czech Republic, says manager Mikel Arteta. David Luiz and Kieran Tierney are certainly out though.
The Gunners either need a high scoring draw or be the first team to win at the Sinobo Stadium this season if they are to progress in normal time. The Stitched haven’t lost at home in well over a year now, and not in the Europa League since Chelsea beat them in April 2019.
Neither Rangers nor Leicester could beat them in their own backyard, with both finishing in low scoring draws.
I believe the 1-1 correct score is on the cards here. It was the score line in the first leg and if there were a repeat in Prague on Thursday, I wouldn’t be shocked, thus forcing the tie into extra-time. Best price on that is 13/2 with BetVictor.
Back the game to be decided after penalties at 16/1 with Bet365.
Instead of a punt on the 1-1, I will pluck for a bigger price and hope the tie goes all the way to penalties.
Arsenal’s knockout ties with Olympiacos last season both finished in the same score line (0-1 away wins). I believe this leg will be low scoring, tense, and tight.
Back David Zima to be carded with Bet365 at 11/2
11/2 is simply too big. The young Czech international was the only player booked in the first leg and has been booked in all of his last three Europa League ties and in 4/9 games this term.
Zima was 5/1 to be carded at the Emirates and considering he was the only culprit for a card, I’m not sure why his odds have lengthened here. We also have a better referee on the card data with Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir taking charge.
The centre-back commits 1.4 fouls per game on average and looks vulnerable for a card here. He’s as short as 2/1 elsewhere so a real standout price. Of the 77 cards against Arsenal in both the PL and EL, 24 have been shown to a centre-back, that’s 31%.
The 25/1 on his being carded first could also appeal as a complete punt, considering he was the first to be scribbled down in 2 of his 3 ties with English sides on the European stage this year. He was also booked first against Nice. 75% of his cards in the EL have been the first in the match, including the reverse tie last week.
Bet365 have every other Slavia Prague outfield player more likely to be first into Cuneyt Cakir’s notebook. He has double the number of cards (4) as anyone else in the Slavia ranks in the EL. It doesn’t add up that the bookies believe there is only a 4% chance of him being cautioned first.