Arsenal host Frankfurt on Thursday knowing that a point will seal top qualification with a game to spare in Group F
Arsenal v Eintracht Frankfurt – Europa League Group F
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Kick Off: 20:00
TV Channel: BT Sport
Unai Emery’s Arsenal come into the game on a torrid run which has seen them without a win in six. A late Alexandre Lacazette goal on Saturday spared their blushes against Southampton in a 2-2 draw, and Unai Emery will be desperate for three points to secure qualification from the group ahead of a trip to lowly Norwich on Sunday. The pressure has begun to build on the Spanish manager, and Frankfurt will be looking to inflict more damage on the Spaniard’s side.
Frankfurt sit 10th in the Bundesliga, and last season’s Europa League Semi Finalists have struggled for consistency this season. Frankfurt are sat third in Group F, four points behind table toppers Arsenal, and with Standard Liege travelling to Portugal to play Vitoria, they will be keen to return from London with at least a point to boost their qualification hopes. A run of three defeats in a row in all competitons has taken the gloss off their 5-1 demolition of Bayern, but if they are to perform at that level once again, they’ll definitely be capable of troubling the Gunners.
A 3-0 win back in September was harsh on Frankfurt, and the signs are promising for Adi Hutter’s side that they’ll be able to threaten Arsenal. An end-to-end encounter in Germany saw Arsenal ride their luck before Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck, as they took advantage of Dominik Kohr’s red card. The xG finished 2.01 to 3.46 as Emiliano Martinez shone in goal for Arsenal, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see such a frenetic game once again.
Frankfurt are a tactically unique side, and the role of Makoto Hasebe represents a throwback to the sweeper role. They will look to attack wide through Filip Kostic and Danny da Costa, looking to overload the box, however their attacking nature leaves them susceptible to counter attacks, and is an angle Arsenal showed themselves more than capable of exploiting away in Germany. Goncalo Paciencia has been in good form this season with six goals, whilst Andre Silva hasn’t kicked on after a promising start, but goals shouldn’t be an issue for the German side.
A rotated side has played in the Europa League so far this season, with this expected to take place once again. Arsenal’s torrid run of form has left Emery desperate for a result, so a stronger than normal line-up could be expected. Gabriel Martinelli impressed off the bench, having an influential role in the Gunner’s equaliser against Southampton, and he is expected to start once again for the Gunners, and he is certainly one to watch
An interesting tie awaits on Thursday night, and it opens up some interesting betting angles.
Dani Ceballos has been ruled out, whilst Rob Holding, Bukayo Saka and Sead Kolasinac are doubtful.
Kevin Trapp and Marco Russ are out for Frankfurt.
Head to Head:
Arsenal Wins: 1
Frankfurt Wins: 0
Arsenal have netted 11 goals in 4 Europa League games
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the top scorer for Arsenal this season in the league with eight goals
Goals haven’t flowed for Frankfurt in Europe, only netting four across their four Europa League games
Arsenal Last 5: D D D L D
Frankfurt Last 5: W W L L L
The defences from both sides have been a worry this season, and Arsenal are well equipped to counter against the German side. Hasebe showed his vulnerability in the reverse fixture to the quick-breaking Arsenal attack, and its hard to see either team keeping a clean sheet in this affair.
Both teams to score takes appeal, all be it without much value at 8/15, however it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the goals flow once again in this tie. Over 3.5 goals has more appeal at 31/20, and with goals expected, it opens up the goalscoring markets.
Priced at 7/5, Gabriel Martinelli’s run of form makes him an appealing prospect, whilst Paciencia, Frankfurt’s top scorer, also stands out at 23/10. With goals certainly expected, picking goal scorers above evens definitely appeals in this game, and should strike value.