Arsenal are heavy favourites to secure a routine victory on Thursday, and Dundalk can only dream of an unlikely European Cup upset.
Europa League 2020/21
Date: Thursday October, 29th
Kick-off: 21:00 pm
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal’s problems yet reared its head last weekend, as the progress already been made under Mikel Arteta took a minor hit in a narrow defeat by Leicester City in the league.
The Gunners who travel to Manchester United on the weekend will now hope to make the most of this fixture, and will be wary of avoiding any potential banana skin having came from behind to beat Rapid Vienna last time out in this tournament.
David Luiz kick-started the turnaround in that game with a textbook header, but unfortunately will play no part here after he was forced off with a hamstring injury in the loss last weekend.
Irish champions Dundalk ran Molde very close last time out in this competition, taking the lead through Sean Murray but inevitably capitulated 2-1 in the second half.
That result was followed by another defeat last Sunday, a lacklustre 1-0 loss to Waterford in the Ireland Premier Division. They will savour every single minute of this game, and perhaps the result will hardly matter to them at the end.
Luiz have joined Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli and Rob Holding on the treatment table.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Willian and William Saliba are rated as doubtful for this game but Calum Chambers could be fit enough to return to the bench.
Dane Massey and Nathan Oduwa are the only players sidelined for Filippo Giovagnoli’s side.
Ten of Arsenal’s last 12 home wins in this competition have yielded a 2+ goal margin, and nine of those ten saw them keep a second-half clean sheet.
Dundalk’s last five away defeats in this competition have averaged 2.0 total match goals inside the first half, with them scoring just one and conceding nine.
Arsenal last five competitive games: DWLWL
Dundalk last five competitive games: WDWLL
Arsenal might not be playing so well at the moment, but it will be a big surprise if they fail to coast to an easy win on Thursday. Dundalk are by no means any match for the Gunners on the betting, and it is no surprise they are short on odds for a victory.
But you can get odds of 4/11 for a firsthalf/fulltime win for Arsenal, and that is our pick from this game.