Slavia Prague are eyeing up another shock result in the Europa League this week, and they will be confident of achieving that as they return to their home stadium with a narrow advantage over the Gunners.
Europa League Preview
Slavia Prague have already knocked Leicester City and Rangers out of the Europa League this season, but victory over Arsenal would be the biggest achievement that they have managed. Knocking the Gunners out of the competition would rank high on their list of historic achievements, and it would be difficult to bet against them achieving that. Slavia netted a crucial away goal in the previous match between the two sides, as they scored with virtually the last kick of the game. Tomas Holes’ equaliser means that the pressure will be on the Gunners to come out and attack in the second leg, and the goal was no more than Slavia deserved for their excellent performance at the Emirates last week.
Arsenal had believed that they had done enough to claim the first leg advantage late in the game, as Nicolas Pepe scored with four minutes remaining. However, the goal was just one of the two shots that the Gunners managed to get on target in the draw. Arsenal struggled to break down their resilient opponents in the fixture, and they will need to raise their performance level to avoid another embarrassing departure in the Europa League this season. Mikel Arteta will be aware that this competition is his side’s best route back into the Champions League this season, but defeat in Prague would see the pressure on his increase. Arsenal warmed up for the return leg with a comfortable 3-0 success on the road against Sheffield United. Alexandre Lacazette scored twice in the win.
Slavia Prague vs Arsenal Head To Head
The meeting between the sides last week was the third time that Slavia and Arsenal have met in European competition. However, it was the first time that they had done battle in the Europa League. The two previous meetings both came in the Champions League, with the Gunners winning the home game 7-0. However, the game in Prague ended in a 0-0 draw.
Slavia Prague vs Arsenal Prediction
This tie is finely poised ahead of the second leg, and a case could be made for both. However, we could see another shock win for Slavia on Thursday night, as they get the result they need to progress through to the semi-finals.
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