MX23RW : Monday, January 18 07:23:57| >> :120:19450:19450:
Dec 3, 2020 at 8pm UK at Emirates Stadium
ArsenalArsenal
4-1
Rapid ViennaRapid Vienna
Lacazette (10'), Mari (18'), Nketiah (44'), Smith Rowe (66')
Elneny (42'), Mustafi (61')
FT(HT: 3-0)
Kitagawa (47')
Ullmann (39'), Sonnleitner (79')

Preview: Arsenal vs. Rapid Vienna - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Arsenal and Rapid Vienna, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Arsenal will be desperate to bounce back from their lowly defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers when they face off against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

The Gunners have already booked their place in the round of 32, whereas Vienna sit third in Group B heading into the penultimate round of fixtures.


Match preview

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta pictured on November 22, 2020© Reuters

A year to the day that Unai Emery was relieved of his duties as Arsenal manager, the Spaniard's successor Mikel Arteta witnessed a ghastly performance which could have him fearing for his Emirates future as well.

Arsenal's showdown with Wolverhampton Wanderers was marred by a sickening clash of heads between Raul Jimenez and David Luiz, but even after their star striker had to be given oxygen as he was stretchered off and transported to hospital, Wolves produced a top-class performance to travel back to the West Midlands with three points in the bag.

Arteta witnessed his side score a long-overdue goal from open play in the Premier League as Gabriel Magalhaes powered a header home, but strikes from Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence saw Wolves come out on top and condemn Arsenal to a third top-flight defeat in a row on familiar territory.

The Gunners, like many teams, are afflicted with numerous injuries at the moment, but Arteta has now overseen Arsenal's worst ever start to a Premier League season after 10 matches and a top-four charge already looks dead in the water heading into the festive period.

One thing that Gooners can take solace in is their side's dominance in Europa League Group B, with Arsenal already guaranteed to advance to the knockout stages, and Arteta's side can secure top spot in the group with victory on their own turf against Vienna.

Rapid Vienna's Ercan Kara celebrates scoring against Dundalk in the Europa League on November 26, 2020© Reuters

Rapid Vienna boast a far better goal difference than second-placed Molde, but having lost 1-0 to the Norwegian outfit back in October, this week's visitors to the Emirates find themselves outside of the top two.

Since losing their opening two group matches, the Austrian giants have notched up seven goals in two successive victories against Dundalk to keep their knockout dreams alive and confirm the Irish side's elimination in the process.

With Molde expected to further their own bid for a top-two finish with a victory against Dundalk on matchday five, Rapid Vienna will know that nothing less than a win at the Emirates - however difficult that may be - will do before their crunch showdown with Molde in the final round of group matches.

Dietmar Kuhbauer's side have been faltering in the league, though, with Rapid Vienna's winless streak stretching to three top-flight matches as Austria Vienna held them to a 1-1 draw in the capital derby.

Arsenal just about managed to eke out a win when they paid a visit to Austria on matchday one, with Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both netting after Taxiarchis Fountas had opened the scoring for Rapid Vienna.

Arsenal Europa League form: WWWW
Arsenal form (all competitions): WWLDWL

Rapid Vienna Europa League form: LLWW
Rapid Vienna form (all competitions): WWDLWD


Team News

Arsenal's Thomas Partey in action against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on October 22, 2020© Reuters

Arsenal have confirmed the solemn news that Thomas Partey's injury is worse than first thought, and the summer arrival is likely to remain on the treatment table until 2021.

Luiz played on for another 30 minutes with blood seeping through his bandage against Wolves - a move which was heavily criticised - and the Brazilian defender is confirmed to be missing this one out.

Nicolas Pepe should start this one amid his domestic suspension, while Reiss Nelson - who was dropped for Willian at the weekend in spite of his impressive performance at Molde - is expected to get the nod on the opposite flank.

Aubameyang's struggles in front of goal continued against Wolves - despite finding himself in a more familiar central role - and the 31-year-old will make way for either Alexandre Lacazette or Eddie Nketiah here.

As for Thursday's visitors, midfield duo Dejan Petrovic and Dejan Ljubicic are thought to be nearing returns to action, but the trip to Arsenal will come too soon for both players.

Wholesale changes are unlikely, but Fountas made an appearance from the bench in the Vienna derby and will be dreaming of a second goal against the Gunners this week, so he should start this one.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Runarsson; Cedric, Mustafi, Holding, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Elneny; Pepe, Smith Rowe, Nelson; Lacazette

Rapid Vienna possible starting lineup:
Gartler; Stojkovic, Hofmann, Barac, Ullmann; Grahovac, Knasmullner; Schick, Demir, Fountas; Kara


SM words green background

We say: Arsenal 3-1 Rapid Vienna

Arsenal are in need of a serious injection of confidence before they prepare for a North London derby against Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur, and the visit of Vienna gives the Gunners the perfect opportunity to right the wrongs of the weekend. Gooners will certainly not be getting ahead of themselves should Arsenal come out on top as expected, and Vienna will look to hurt Arteta's men - with the Arsenal boss certainly a man under pressure now - but this ought to be a routine win for the North London outfit.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


ID:424553:cQx

How you voted: Arsenal vs Rapid Vienna

Arsenal
78.4%
Draw
12.6%
Rapid Vienna
9.0%
524
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta pictured on November 22, 2020
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A look at what has changed at Arsenal since Mikel Arteta replaced Unai Emery
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