Arsenal will be looking for a big response to their disappointing 1-0 defeat against Sheffield United on Monday as the Gunners host Portuguese standouts Vitoria de Guimaraes at the Emirates Stadium in Thursday’s Europa League clash.
The Gunners currently top Group F with six points from their opening two matches, while Vitoria are winless and bottom of the pool after losing two in a row without scoring.
Although the North London club have been somewhat inconsistent in the Premier League this season, winning just two of their last five, their much-rotated team has been highly impressive in the Europa League, scoring seven goals and keeping two clean sheets.
Although Vitoria de Guimaraes have struggled for form of late in this competition, they have won three in a row in the Portuguese league, where they currently sit fourth in the table.
Thursday’s game is Vitoria’s first-ever meeting with Arsenal and their first game against English opposition since the 2008/09 season when they were eliminated from the UEFA Cup by Portsmouth.
Head To Head
Thursday’s match is the first between Arsenal and Vitoria de Guimaraes.
The Gunners have a strong recent record against Portuguese opposition, beating the likes of Porto and Braga in Champions League and Europa League games.
Possible Line Ups
Arsenal: Martinez; Maitland-Niles, Holding, Mustafi, Tierney; Torreira, Ceballos; Pepe, Willock, Saya; Martinelli
Vitoria de Guimaraes: Jesus; Soares, Tapsoba, Pedrao, Hanin; Edwards, Poka, Agu, Costa, Davidson; Bonatini
Arsenal are likely to find their Portuguese opponents difficult to break down in the early going but they should have enough pace and quality to make it three wins from three in this year’s Europa League group stage.