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Standard Liege vs Arsenal. UEFA Europa League Group F.

Stade de SclessinAttendance21,797.

Standard Liege 2

  • S Bastien (47th minute)
  • S Amallah (69th minute)

Arsenal 2

  • A Lacazette (78th minute)
  • B Saka (81st minute)

Standard Liege vs Arsenal preview

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Nicolas Pepe
Image: Nicolas Pepe will miss Arsenal's trip to Standard Liege

Team news, stats and prediction as Arsenal travel to Standard Liege in the Europa League.

Team news

Arsenal's first win in nine games came at a cost, with a number of players facing time out injured following Monday's victory at West Ham.

The Gunners had not tasted victory since October 24 but came from behind to beat Manuel Pellegrini's side 3-1 at the London Stadium. But ahead of Thursday's Europa League trip to Standard Liege and Sunday's Premier League visit of Manchester City, the club announced a number of injury concerns.

Granit Xhaka
Image: Granit Xhaka will miss Arsenal's next two games against Standard Liege and Manchester City

Hector Bellerin was withdrawn from the line-up ahead of kick-off at West Ham with a tight hamstring and will not travel to Belgium, with his place against City also in doubt.

Granit Xhaka suffered concussion after being struck by the ball and is definitely absent for both games. Summer signing Kieran Tierney lasted a little longer than Bellerin on Monday night before being taken off with what proved to be a dislocated right shoulder.

Kieran Tierney goes off with a suspected shoulder injury against West Ham
Image: Kieran Tierney went off after dislocating his shoulder against West Ham

Nicolas Pepe scored and provided an assist but a bruised knee means he could miss Sunday's game, having already been ruled out of the Liege clash. Meanwhile, Dani Ceballos remains sidelined with a hamstring issue and Arsenal also confirmed Rob Holding would be absent for around two weeks as he recovers from a minor knee complaint.

State of play

This is a complicated one. Arsenal need a point away at Standard Liege to guarantee going through to the knockout stages, but a Frankfurt defeat at home to Vitoria would also be enough.

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If Standard Liege do not win, then Frankfurt are guaranteed a last-32 spot, but if the German side pick up three points they will seal their place either way. Liege are relying on a Frankfurt defeat, coupled with winning themselves against Arsenal, or they are out. Vitoria are already out.

All three of the top teams could end on 10 points, with six points each in their three-way head-to-head table, if Standard Liege win and Frankfurt draw. That would mean goal difference in the corresponding games between the three would be used to determine who makes the last 32, which would still leave Arsenal in a very strong position to qualify.

The only way the Gunners could exit is with a defeat by five or more goals at Liege and a win for Eintracht Frankfurt.

Group F standings

P W D L GD Pts
Arsenal 5 3 1 1 7 10
Eintracht Frankfurt 5 3 0 2 -1 9
Standard Liege 5 2 1 2 -2 7
Vitoria 5 0 2 3 -4 2

Opta stats

  • Both Standard Liege and Arsenal can still qualify from Group F in this season's Europa League; the Belgian side are looking to progress from the group stage of the competition for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign, while the Gunners have made it through each of their last 16 group stages in major European competition since going out at the second group stage of the 2002-03 Champions League.
  • Arsenal have won all five of their previous meetings with Standard Liege, by an aggregate score of 19-2. Their biggest ever away win in Europe came against the Belgian side (7-0 in November 1993).
  • This is the first time Standard are hosting English opponents since September 2009, when they went 2-0 ahead after just five minutes against Arsenal before eventually losing 2-3.
  • Including qualifiers, Standard Liege are unbeaten in 11 home games in European competitions (W7 D4), winning each of the last five in a row.
  • Arsenal haven't lost back-to-back games within a single season in the UEFA Cup/Europa League since 1996-97, when they lost twice to Borussia Mönchengladbach in September 1996.

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Charlie Nicholas' prediction

I don't see many things transforming on the pitch. I think Freddie Ljungberg will make more changes and they will go to Belgium more upbeat, but I imagine Alexandre Lacazette will start. Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson will start most likely too, but I am not sure what he will pick defensively.

I imagine David Luiz will play, but Ljungberg is limited in choice with the full-backs being injured. It is not a turning point for Arsenal yet and I think they will be happy with a point - that is all they need and will take from the match in order to be the top seed.

CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-2 (11/1 with Sky Bet)

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