Arsenal v Crvena Zvezda
Thursday November 02, 20:05
Live on BT Sport Extra
Gunners enjoying their Europa League adventure
While Arsenal continue to frustrate their fans in general (the Gunners are already six points adrift of top spot in the Premier League) there is little to complain about regarding the club's performance in the Europa League. Three games, three wins, and two home matches still to come.
Manager Arsene Wenger has used the competition to give players like Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere the chance to stake a claim for regular starting berths. All three of those players have performed well, and Giroud's late winner in Belgrade in the reverse fixture was a thing of beauty.
Sead Kolasinac and Shkodran Mustafi aren't fully fit, and are unlikely to be risked ahead of Sunday's huge game at Manchester City. It would be a big surprise to see any of Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez in the starting eleven.
Serbian visitors hoping to keep things tight
In their last Europa League away game, Crvena Zvezda came away with a 1-0 win from Cologne, having edged out the hosts FC Koln. However, it's worth bearing a number of factors in mind when considering that result. Firstly, Crvena Zvezda massively rode their luck, as Koln hit the frame of the goal three times. Also, Koln are having a simply dreadful season, where absolutely everything has gone wrong for them.
Although the team once known as Red Star Belgrade are on good domestic form (they are four points clear at the top of the Serbian Super Liga), there is little to suggest they'll be able to live with the Gunners in north London. They have already lost 3-2 at Krasnodar in qualifying, and they have won just two of their last seven away games in the UEL over the last three seasons.
Milan Rodic is suspended after he was sent off in the reverse fixture, while there have been injuries to Branko Jovicic and Ricardo Cavalcante.
Gunners to win at a canter
Even with what is effectively a weakened line-up, Arsenal should win this comfortably. So far they have swept aside Koln 3-1, and secured impressive away wins in Borisov and Belgrade. The second-string players are really taking their chance to impress.
Arsenal are trading at 1.37 for the outright win, but you can back them to win by two goals or more on the Sportsbook's Handicap market at evens.
Goals should flow if hosts are in the mood
Over 2.5 Goals is trading at a skinny 1.53, and that's a bit too short to be of interest, even if Arsenal have whacked in 19 goals in their last eight games.
Although I fancy a two-goal Arsenal win, I'd rather keep the 2-0 result onside, with Crvena Zvezda likely to try to dig in.
Back Arsenal -1 on the Handicap at evens