Arsenal vs Slavia Praha
Arsenal’s bid to reach for a second Europa League final in three seasons continues when they’ll host Slavia Praha at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners and the Czech champions will meet for the first time in quite a while at the big stage, making this quarterfinals tie a must-watch considering the high stakes involved.
Both teams were challenged at the earlier stages which certainly toughened them up for this round and we here at SBOTOP can’t wait to see them go head-to-head anew.
Check out our latest match preview ahead of Thursday evening.
Arsenal will stick to their guns
With their place in the Premier League already sealed, Mikel Arteta is expected to make Europa League his main priority and he’ll go as strong as he can to try and bring home another trophy at the Emirates.
But while that has already been established, much of their rotation and tactics will going to depend on which players are fit and available to play.
Their defencive depth will take a hit as wing-back Kieran Tierney will sit out this game since he hurt his knee during their loss to Liverpool while David Luiz’s fitness is also in question.
Seldom-used Cedric Soares will replace Tierney while Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding are the most probable centre-back pairing this Thursday.
The midfield is going to be their strongest area since they’ll have Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, and Martin Odegaard leading the way.
Odegaard in particular has been a big difference maker since his arrival last January, and he can definitely be included in the Europa League 2021 highlights reel if he performs up to par.
Arsenal’s best chance will be if they play with a ton of pace, so Arteta will be forced to pick between Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as their main striker instead of bringing them both in at the same time.
Aubameyang has yet to score for the Gunners since early March and we’re predicting that Arteta will let him use this game as his chance to regain his dangerous form.
Willian and Bukayo Saka should be part of the starting XI as well given their mix of experience and youth. Willian tallied key assists in his previous Europa League appearances, making him an important part to their run.
Slavia Praha are not to be overlooked
The Cervenobili have been in fine form ahead of Thursday. Jindrich Trpisovsky’s side are still unbeaten in all competitions this year, making them the dark horse contenders in the Europa League.
Arsenal’s backline would certainly be wary of the attacking duo of Jan Kuchta and Abdallah Sima as they are two of the team’s top scorers.
After advancing past the group stages, many wrote off Slavia Praha since they had one of the toughest draws.
However, the Czech champions produced one of the biggest upsets in the tournament when they shocked Leicester City in the Round of 32 and that momentum carried them over past the Rangers in the next round.
Can Slavia Praha spring another upset against another Premier League side? Watch this space.
Arsenal and Slavia Praha will meet for the third time ever this Thursday.
The Gunners won their first meeting back in the 2007/08 Champions League group stage fixture with a score of 7-0 – which is their biggest-ever European home victory. Then it was followed up by a goalless draw in the reverse fixture.
Arsenal have never lost to a Czech-based club – winning seven of their last eight encounters.
Mikel Arteta’s side has won both of their previous Europa League quarterfinal ties – beating CSKA Moskva in 2017/18 and Napoli in 2018/19.
However, after their most recent home defeat against Liverpool, the Gunners are now winless in three of their last four matches in all competitions at the Emirates.
|Arsenal vs Slavia Praha||Arsenal Asian Handicap -0.75 @ 1.77|
|April 9, 03:00(GMT+8)|
The Europa League 2021 odds see the Gunners coming through with a comfortable win at their home pitch.
Arsenal are the favourites to win at 1.57, while Slavia Praha are pegged at 5.60 and chances for a draw are at 3.80 in the 1×2 market.
Given what Slavia Praha have gone through before reaching this stage, they are certainly not afraid of facing another English-based club once more.
But while Arsenal’s form has been inconsistent lately, they should come away with a vital win here since they have a stronger squad on both sides of the pitch.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.