Rapid Wien vs Arsenal preview
Arsenal are set to start their Europa League campaign away to Rapid Vienna at the Allianz Stadion on Thursday. The Gunners finished eighth on the log last season, meaning they had missed out a chance to feature in Europe. However, a win against Chelsea in the FA Cup finals meant Mikel Arteta’s men booked a place in this season’s Europa League.
The north London side has been drawn in group B which has the likes of Vienna, Dundalk and Molde and it is safe to say the draw has been kind to Arsenal. Although football across the continent is never easy, never predictable, nor ever a foregone conclusion.
- Arsenal have lost two of their last seven matches in all the competitions. (W5,L2)
- The Gunners have kept three clean sheets in the last seven matches in all competitions.
- Wien have lost a single game in their last six matches in all the competitions. ( W4, D1)
- The Austrian club has kept only a single clean sheet in its last six matches in all competitions.
- This will be the first time these two sides meet.
- Wien registered a 5-1 victory in their recent game against Wiener Neustädter SC in OFB Cup.
Midfielder Mesut Ozil and defender Sokratis will not be available for selection after the pair was left out of Arsenal’s Europa League squad.
Arsenal could be without Rob Holding who got a knock during a pre-match warm up against Manchester City on Saturday. Pablo Mari has a slight chance of making his first appearance since mid-June although it will need to be seen how he fares in training before Thursday.
Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers are still sidelined and decisions on their fitness will likely come after the coming international break.
Meanwhile, Rapid will be missing four players through long-term injuries, three of which are due to cruciate ligament ruptures. Midfielder Dalibor Velimirovic has been out since August, centre-back Christopher Dibon since June and Philipp Schobesberger since last November. Tamás Szántó remains a very long-term absentee.
Head to head
This will be the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides.
Heading to the clash, Vienna are the underdogs despite being at home. The Gunners are expected to bounce back following a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City over the weekend but it won’t be an easy task for Mikel Arteta’s side.
The hosts have made an excellent start to the domestic campaign, picking three wins and draw in their opening four games.
Rapid Wien have made an excellent start to the domestic season with three wins and a draw in their opening four games but Arsenal should have too much firepower, with some of their youngsters keen to impress.
However, Arsenal should have much firepower and Bet254 is backing the Premier League club to win at odds of 1.55, while betway has 1.57 for the same outcome.
Anytime goalscorer – Eddie Nketiah
Arteta is likely to rotate his side ahead of Sunday’s crucial Premier League clash with Leicester City. Academy graduates Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock look likely to play and that means the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lacazette could be benched.
Nketiah wrote his name in the record books by becoming the joint-highest goalscorer for the England U21 side. He has also been a regular scorer for the Gunner in most times when handed a chance to feature for his club.
Bet254 is backing the 21-year-old to score a goal at any time during the clash at odds of 3.45.
Other anytime goalscorers
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 2.60 odds bet254
Alexandre Lacazette – 3.20 odds bet254
Neither side has had any issues in front of goal this season, with Vienna notching an impressive 10 goals from their four league matches while Arsenal are just two shy of that mark having played a game more.
Tip: Over 2.5 – 1.61 (bet254), 1.62 (betway)
HIFK – RoPS
- Tip: HIFK win/Under 2.5
FC Honka – FC Lahti
- Tip: Under 2.5
IFK Mariehamn – HJK
- Tip: HJK win/Over 2.5/ Both teams to score
KuPS – FC Haka
- Tip: KuPs win/ Both teams to score
Football analyst! Biggest fan of local and international football. Mostly, loves keeping an eye on the upcoming players, always trying to bring debate on youngsters’ potential of becoming the next big thing in the world of football and of, course writing some pieces about them.