By 90Min
November 27, 2018

Arsenal will embark on the four hour flight to Ukraine to face FC Vorskla Poltava knowing that qualification is already in the bag, but top spot is not yet secured.

However, it is expected that Arsenal will top the group, as even if they fail to better Sporting's result on Thursday night, they have comfort in the fact they have a superior goal difference as well as a three point cushion heading into the final phases of Group E.

Vorskla have recorded one victory from their opening four Group E matches, but will be hoping a win can they fan's minds somewhat off imposition of martial law in Ukraine this week.

Here's everything you need to know about Thursday night's game.


How to Watch


When Is Kick Off? Thursday 29th November
What Time Is Kick Off? 17.55 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Oleksiy Butovsky Vorskla Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream BT Sport 2

Team News


Unai Emery has six Arsenal players on the treatment table, although it is expected that he will use the trip to Ukraine as an opportunity to utilise his squad, especially with upcoming fixtures against Tottenham Hotspurs and Manchester United.

Despite the expected squad rotation, Emery will be concerned with the mounting injury porblems at the club, and will hope the extended period of rest will aid his players recovery. Danny Welbeck is already sidelined with an ankle injury, whereas Alexandre Lacazette is a doubt after missing Sunday's win over Bournemouth with a groin injury.

Elsewhere, Nacho Monreal is sidelined for the next 10 days as he battles to recover from a hamstring injury, whilst Stephan Lichtsteiner is a doubt with the same problem. 


Konstantinos Mavropanos will also miss out due to a groin strain, although Laurent Koscienly's return to the Under-23's will boost Emery as his captain edges closer to first team action. 


Vasyl Sachko will be without Denis Vasin, Aleksandre Kobakhidze and Dmitry Kravchenko for the visit of Arsenal and if Vyacheslav Sharpar picks up a yellow card he will miss Vorskla's final Group E game. 


Predicted Lineups


Vorskla Shust; Artur, Chesnakov, Dallku, Perduta; Rebenok, Sharpar, Sklyar, Yakubu; Kulach; Kolomoets.
Arsenal Cech; Kolasinac, Sokratis, Holding, Jenkinson; Guendouzi, Elneny; Ozil, Ramsey, Smith-Rowe; Nketiah. 

Head to Head Record


Considering the likelihood of these two teams facing one another is extremely low, it is no surprise that this will be just the second time that they have faced one another, therefore the head to head record will not satisfy the eager statistician.

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Arsenal dismantled Vorskla 4-2 in September at the Emirates Stadium, although a different challenge will present itself in Ukraine, as Arsenal are yet to win any of their five matches in the country.

Vorskla meanwhile, excluding the qualifiers, have never won a home European tie and Arsenal make up the only English side they have faced.


Recent Form


Emery continues the Arsenal resurgence as they have now extended their unbeaten streak to 17 games. It is an impressive record for the Spanish boss, who even may not have predicted this success upon his arrival. 

One of the most notable improvements for Arsenal has been their form away from home, with the Gunners racking up as many wins this season as they had in the entire 2017/18 Premier League campaign.

Vorskla meanwhile picked up their first victory in the Europa League at the end of October, which started a run of three successive victories. However, they have now endured a barren run of three successive defeats and appear to be in a bad vein of form upon Arsenal's visit. 

Here's a look at each sides last five fixtures:

Vorskla Arsenal
Illichivets Mariupol 1-0 Vorskla 24/11 Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal 25/11
Vorskla 0-2 Shaktar Donetsk Arsenal 1-1 Wolves 11/11
Vorskla 0-1 Qarabag 08/11 Arsenal 0-0 Sporting 08/11
Lviv 0-2 Vorskla 04/11 Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool 03/11
Vorskla 2-1 Olimpik Donetsk 28/10 Arsenal 2-1 Blackpool 31/10

Prediction


Thursday nights clash threatens to be overshadowed by the weather and political environment of Ukraine. 

It has been said that temperatures could reach -12 whilst the game is ongoing and the 500 Arsenal travelling fans should prepare aptly for the condition of the stadium, as posted by the Vorskla twitter page.

Although matters could be diverted from the football, Arsenal will be hoping to get the job done on what is going to be a tough experience for a rotated Arsenal squad. However, the Gunners should just get this one over the line.

Prediction: Vorskla 0-1 Arsenal

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