Arsenal's Europa League campaign continues on Thursday night as they welcome Azerbaijani champions Qarabag FK to the Emirates for the curtain-closer in Group E.
Unai Emery's side have already qualified for the last 32 as group winners and the Spaniard will likely give his periphery players a chance on Thursday night, resting his star-studded squad for next weekend's game against Southampton.
If anyone is going to snap Arsenal's 21-game unbeaten streak, it is unlikely to be a side who have scored just two goals in this season's competition so far, whilst conceding ten at the other end.
Check out 90min's preview for Thursday's game below.
How To Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Thursday 13 December|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 GMT|
|Where Is it Played?||Emirates Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport 2|
Arsenal centre back Rob Holding is preparing himself for a lengthy break from the field after he sustained a season-ending injury against Man United last week. Emery will also be without Mesut Ozil who is out with a back injury, but would have been unlikely to feature in Thursday's dead rubber even if the German had been fit.
After tearing his Meniscus last time out in the Europa League against Sporting, second top scorer Innocent Emeghara is set to miss out on Qarabag's trip to north London.
|Arsenal||Cech; Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles; Guendouzi, Gilmour; Smith-Rowe, Willock , Iwobi; Nketiah.|
|Qarabag||Halldorsson; Medvedev, Rzezniczak, Sadygov, Guerrier; Qarayev, Michel, Slavchev, Zoubir, Madatov; Abdullayev.|
Head to Head Record
When the two sides met earlier on in the competition, a second-string Arsenal side easily overcame their Azerbaijani opponents, winning 3-0 in front of over 60,000 fans.
Qarabag have visited this part of the world before to face Arsenal's north London rivals, on that occasion they fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Maurico Pochettino's Tottenham.
Arsenal extended their impressive unbeaten streak on Saturday as they narrowly got the better of a stubborn Huddersfield side. However, Emery's side have often been slow starters this term resulting in the Gunners drawing some games they should have won. In fact, Arsenal have drawn five of their last ten games in all competitions, taking some of the gloss off their unbeaten run.
Despite failing to shine in the shadows of Europe's elite teams this term, Qarabag continue to display impressive domestic form and currently sit second in the Azerbaijan Premier League. They are the highest scoring side in Azerbaijan's top tier which is compiled of just eight teams, but have failed to break down the more well-drilled defences that occupy the Europa League group stages.
Here's how each side performed in their last five games:
|Arsenal 1-0 Huddersfield (08/12)||Zira 0-6 Qarabag (09/12)|
|Man United 2-2 Arsenal (05/12)||Qarabag 5-1 Inter Baku (03/12)|
|Arsenal 4-2 Tottenham (02/12)||Qarabag 1-6 Sporting Lisbon (29/11)|
|Vorskla 0-3 Arsenal (29/11)||Qarabag 1-1 Sabah (24/11)|
|Bournemouth 1-2 Arsenal (25/11)||Gabala 1-3 Qarabag (11/11)|
Regardless of how many players Unai Emery decides to rest on Thursday night, his team should have enough to easily overcome a permeable Qarabag side who will be put out of their Europa League misery. The Spaniard will likely have one eye, if not both, on his side's Premier League tie with Southampton next weekend and will want to ensure his side are as fit as possible for that game and the forthcoming Christmas schedule.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Qarabag