By 90Min
February 19, 2019

Arsenal host BATE Borisov in the second leg of their round of 32 clash, with the game shaping up to be one of the most important of the Unai Emery era so far. 

It was a nightmare first leg in Belarus for the Gunners, who now face an uphill battle in north London against a BATE side who astonishingly nicked the first leg by the odd goal.

Emery's Arsenal lacked creativity throughout the first leg and although they finished with 71% possession, they never truly tested the Belarusians' defence.

With securing a fourth place finish in the Premier League looking tough following Manchester United's resurgence, Emery may see winning the Europa League as a more viable route into next seasons Champions League.


Here's 90min's preview of the game.


Where to Watch

When is Kick Off?                                               21 February 2019                                          
What Time is Kick Off? 17:55 (BST)
Where is it Played? Emirates Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport 2

Team News

Arsenal will be without Alexandre Lacazette following the straight red card the Frenchman received for an elbow in the first leg. 

MB Media/GettyImages

Mesut Ozil, who has spectacularly fallen out of favour this season, has been suffering from an illness lately but with the Gunners lacking any creative spark in the past few weeks, he could finally get a chance to impress after recovering

Aaron Ramsey is unlikely to play due to an ongoing knee problem, while Hector Belierin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck all remain long-term absentees.


Predicted Lineups

Arsenal Cech; Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Koscielny, Sokratis; Guendouzi, Xhaka, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi; Aubameyang  
BATE Borisov Scherbitsk; Rios, Volkov, Filipenko, Filipovic; Baga, Dragun, Hleb; Milic, Skavysh, Stasevich

Head to Head Record

The two sides have only met three times, with all of these meetings coming in the Europa League.

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

The previous two fixtures prior to last weeks game came in the group stages of last seasons tournament, with Arsenal winning 4-2 in the away fixture, and cruising to a 6-0 win at the Emirates Stadium. 

Goals from Mathieu Debuchy, Mohamed Elneny, Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and a Denis Polyakov handed the Gunners an emphatic win on that occasion. 


Recent Form

With the Belarusian league in its close-season, Alyaksey Baha’s side's last outing before their victory over Arsenal was in the final game of their Europa League group stage in December, when BATE won 3-1 away to PAOK.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have faced a number of games in recent weeks, picking up maximum points in their last Premier League outing against Huddersfield.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Recent wins against Cardiff and Chelsea have shown the Gunners have confidence in their abilities at home, though a cup defeat to Manchester United will still see embedded in the players' recent memories.

Here's how the teams have got on in their last five fixtures. 

Arsenal                                                   BATE Borisov                                  
BATE Borisov 1-0 Arsenal (14/02) BATE 1-0 Arsenal (14/02)
Huddersfield 1-2 Arsenal (09/02) PAOK 1-3 BATE (13/12)
Manchester City 3-1 Arsenal (03/02) BATE 2-1 Vidi (29/11)
Arsenal 2-1 Cardiff (29/01) BATE 0-0 Gorodeya (4-2) (17/11/18)
Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United (25/01) BATE 0-1 Chelsea (08/11/18)

Prediction

With Champions League football up for grabs, Arsenal simply have to win. The home crowd will become agitated though if the Gunners start off slowly, so an early goal is vital. 

MB Media/GettyImages

The pressure Arsenal will be under may offer an insight into how they deal with pressure under Emery, with their season perhaps hinging on whether or not they can overturn the deficit.

But despite their lack of creative spark, coupled with the absence of Lacazette, the Gunners should have enough to turn things around - though it could turn out to be a very close call.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 BATE Borisov

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