Despite being in good form domestically, BATE only managed a 1-1 draw away at Red Star Belgrade in the opening round of group games, and with Arsenal and Cologne the favourites to qualify in the top two places, the Belorussians really needed a win in that fixture. Arsenal came out on top in their clash with the Bundesliga side, despite going a goal down early on. Three second half strikes earned the Gunners an expected three points, but the Germans made them work for their result.
The form is in favour of BATE as they remained uneaten in their last six matches, picking up five wins and just a single draw. Arsenal have lost twice during that period, winning three times and drawing once against Chelsea when perhaps they deserved to win. The Gunners have scored seven and conceded six during that six game period, while BATE have scored an impressive seventeen times and only conceded two goals. While that stat suggests BATE will be very hard to beat, it has to be remembered that they are playing in a much poorer division than Arsenal, where they will often beat teams four, five or even six nil, whereas the Premier League is arguably more competitive than ever this season.
Sanchez played and scored in the last Europa League game for Arsenal, and his manager will be hoping for more of the same against the want away Chilean international. Gordeychuk has been filling his boots in the Belorussian Premier League this season, netting on fourteen occasions to date, and he could prove a thorn in the side of Wenger’s men on Thursday. Welbeck has impressed in the early stage of the season for Arsenal, chipping in with three league goals and taking some of the pressure off record signing Lacazette, who is still acclimatising to life in England’s top flight after his move from Ligue 1 side Lyon in the summer.
While Arsenal’s defence might not have been the best so far this season, in Europe Wenger’s men look far more assured, perhaps due to their style of play being more effective against teams from around the European leagues than that of the rest of the Premier League, who have perhaps cottoned on to some of the Gunners weaknesses. Against Cologne Arsenal showed they could come from behind and score at will, and we think a similar outcome might be on the cards this week.
We’re predicting that both teams will score on Thursday at odds of around 10/11, which means there is good money to be made if you make a bet of at least £20 on this outcome. We are predicting another victory for the Gunners in the Europa League with over 2.5 goals being scored in the game, and the most likely final score being 3-1, as it was against Cologne.