THE EUROPA LEAGUE returns on Thursday night as Arsenal travel to Ukraine to fate Vorskla. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) shares his betting thoughts.
Vorskla Poltava v Arsenal | Thursday 29th November 2018, 17:55 | BT Sport
Arsenal can guarantee top spot in their Europa League pool if they come away from Ukraine with all three points on Thursday evening. This match will not be played in Poltava, instead it’s moved west to the capital Kiev due to martial law being imposed by the countries parliament.
Vorskla have the slimmest chance of progressing but they’d need to win and hope Sporting Lisbon fail to away at Qarabag. That should mean they come out and try attack, at some point at least. That could end up being to their detriment with Arsenal always a threat on the break.
To be fair, the Zeleno-Bili did notch twice in the reverse fixture at the Emirates, they also bagged away at Qarabag whilst scoring against Sporting Lisbon too. I’m not going to rule out them getting on the scoresheet, especially with Arsenal’s propensity to give up decent chances.
Unai Emery is a master when it comes to this competition, his record on the continent with Sevilla speaks for itself. He will be hoping to get the group wrapped up so he can get an extra full week of rest for his main players in the run up to a busy Christmas period.
Goals have been a feature of the Gunners games this season and although we successfully backed a low-scoring clash in their last Europa League outing against Sporting, a draw in that game would’ve been mutually beneficial. In this showdown, the pressure will be off the North London outfit to some extent and it could give another good chance for some fringe players and youngsters to showcase their talent.
Danny Welbeck has been a regular starter in this competition but his unfortunate leg break means he’s out long-term. Emery is unlikely to risk Alexandre Lacazette with his groin problem meaning the exciting Eddie Nketiah could be given the nod up top.
Mesut Ozil is likely to come back in after being dropped at the weekend. Emile Smith-Rowe has shown glimpses of his promise when he’s had the chance and he’s likely to come back into the fold on Thursday night.
Goals the way to go
Given the fact Vorskla Poltava have to try to win this game, plus Arsenal’s clinical counter attacking, we could be in for a few goals. Over 2.5 Goals has been chalked up at evens with Bet365 and that holds plenty of appeal.
Over 2.5 Goals landed comfortably in the reverse fixture and given the group dynamics, I think it’s a decent price for a repeat.
Vorskla Poltava v Arsenal – Over 2.5 Goals (1/1 Bet365)