Arsenal v Bate – Match Preview 

This will be the first ever competitive meeting between these sides, while it will also be Arsenal’s first match against a Belarusian side as Arsenal will be looking for their third consecutive win when they travel to Belarus on Thursday night.
Arsenal made a rocky start to their Europa League campaign, conceding early on against Koln a fortnight ago. The Gunners managed to turn things around in the 2nd half, eventually winning 3-1 thanks to goals from Sead Kolasinac, Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin. 

Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott were unused substitutes on Monday night and are expected to get a run out in Europe.

Lacazette is likely to be given the night off, meaning Olivier Giroud will start up front. There could also be starts for Rob Holding and Per Mertesacker in defence.

As Arsenal’s established cup goalkeeper, David Ospina will start in goal. Mesut Ozil made his return from a knee injury against West Brom, coming on from the bench in the final 10 minutes. The German playmaker has not travelled with the Arsenal squad for this match.

  • BATE are winless in their last seven games in this competition (D4 L3), though this is their first season in the Europa League since 2012-13, and first in the group stages since 2010-11.
  • BATE faced more shots (23, including blocked) than any other side on MD1, but still managed to get a 1-1 draw in Belgrade
  • BATE have won their domestic league in every one of the last 12 seasons, a record they’ll find challenging to continue this season.

The two sides head into the match in similarly fine form. Both have won four and drawn one of their last five matches, and both have conceded just one goal in that period

Predictions – Arsenal with a narrow win 2-1 

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