Arsenal will host BATE Borisov in the last round of the Europa League group stages, with the hosts being already qualified from the first place, while BATE needs a win coupled with a draw in the other match to go through.
The hosts are in good form right now, playing good football, despite losing 1-3 at home to Manchester United last Saturday. That was a brilliant game of football which Arsenal did not deserve to lose, but De Gea was a true miracle maker for United. The Gunners will now return to the Europa League, where they won their first three games before slowing down in the next two, drawing 0-0 with Red Star Belgrade and losing 0-1 in Koln.
BATE Borisov last played on 26 November, when they managed to win the domestic league after a tight fight with Dinamo Minsk. BATE has been in good form lately, and a late rally in their domestic season helped them win the title, but Europa League proved to be a much tougher level. BATE has 5 points in this group, while Koln and Red Star have 6, so only a miracle will see the visitors qualify.Bet on Arsenal v BATE Borisov and get your 100% (100 Eur) bonus at Ohmbet now!
Team news & lineups:
Arsenal is expected to field their usual Europa League lineup here, as all players who took part in the competition for them are available. BATE Borisov has reported a clean bill of health.
Arsenal: Ospina – Debuchy, Mertesacker, Holding – Nelson, Elneny, Willock, Maitland-Niles – Walcott, Wilshere – Giroud
BATE Borisov: Scherbitski – Rios, Gayduchik, Milunovic, Polyakov – Volodko, Dragun – Gordeychuk, Ivanic, Stasevich – Rodionov
Analyzing the difference in quality between the two sides would be a wast of time, as Arsenal is obviously the better team even with their Europa League lineup – as proved in their 4-2 victory in Belarus earlier in the group.
The question here will be how focused will Arsenal be. BATE will obviously be more motivated but, while motivation is very important in sports, it is not always enough. You also have to have what it takes to do the job, and Arsenal at home should be way too strong for BATE, even in the current circumstances.
Some may be quick to point out that Arsenal slowed down once they achieved qualification, drawing at this same venue with Red Star Belgrade and losing in Germany to Koln. However, those matches were completely different compared to this one.
Red Star Belgrade came at Emirates to park the bus and force a draw, adopting the perfect style to frustrate a team like Arsenal. They made it an ugly game and their good defense helped them achieve their objective. But BATE is nowhere near Red Star in terms of defensive quality, and they also can`t come here to play for a 0-0 result – they need a win to hope for qualification. As for Arsenal’s loss in Germany, that was obviously a more difficult game, on the road.
The Arsenal players will feel comfortable at home in front of their own fans, playing without pressure, and they will surely want to put in a good showing to prove they can challenge for a starting spot in the Premier League. With BATE being shaky at the back, and needing to take risks at some point, Arsenal should do the job here.
I will take advantage of the odds which are inflated because of the difference in motivation, and I will bet on the Gunners. My tip is Arsenal to cover the 1 goal asian handicap. I can see them getting a goal sooner or later, and probably getting another when the visitors open themselves up more. If they have a good game, they could win even more clearly. Prediction: Arsenal – Bate Borisov 2-0.
Pick: Arsenal (-1 Asian Handicap)
Odds: 1.73 @ Pinnacle
Possible profit: 5.84
Event date: 7 December