Can Arsenal do the group stage double over Vitoria de Guimaraes?

    Vitória Guimarães vs Arsenal Preview 06/11/2019

    06 Nov 2019 | Europa League | Preview
    Can Arsenal do the group stage double over Vitoria de Guimaraes?
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    Arsenal head into Europa League matchday 4 atop Group F with Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt hot on their heels. While Eintracht Frankfurt face a tough challenge in Belgium against Standard Liege, Arsenal travel to Portugal to play Vitoria de Guimaraes on Wednesday night.

    On paper, Arsenal should win easily over Vitoria de Guimaraes, but as Europa League matchday 3 showed, things are never as simple on the pitch. Unai Emery’s Gunners had to come back from a 2-1 halftime deficit to win 3-2.

    Nicolas Pepe’s two second-half free-kick goals gave Arsenal the win after the Gunners struggled to breakdown Vitoria de Guimaraes’ defence in open play. Will it be more of the same on Wednesday night in Portugal?

    The Gunners form has been woeful over the last week as they suffered three straight draws. All three ties saw Arsenal concede second-half goals allowing their rivals to leave with a point. In two of those matches, Arsenal capitulated after having a two-goal lead.

    Pressure is building on Emery and rumours of Jose Mourinho taking over at the Emirates are circulating. The manager is in the second year of a three-year contract; however, Arsenal have an out-clause at the end of this season.

    After starting the season well in Portugal, Vitoria de Guimaraes have hit the skids. Just one match in their last six in all competitions has ended in a victory. That win came in a 5-0 hammering of Portuguese Liga side Belenenses. Vitoria de Guimaraes drew 1-1 at the weekend with Moreirense.

    Vitoria de Guimaraes will hope to continue their goalscoring form on matchday 4. They have tallied 38 goals in 22 matches in all competitions and average 1.73 goals per game. Against Arsenal’s shaky defence, Vitoria de Guimaraes could find their way to goal.

    Arsenal have allowed 22 goals in 16 matches in all competitions. Away from the Emirates, the Gunners concede an average of 1.71 goals per game.

    Emery has no new injury issues and a full team is at his disposal for Wednesday night. Granit Xhaka could make his return against Vitoria de Guimaraes after incidents with Arsenal supporters versus Crystal Palace.

    Mesut Ozil could retain his place in the Arsenal starting XI after Emery brought him in from the cold. Ozil has started back to back matches for Arsenal and played all 90 minutes against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the weekend.

    Despite the issues at Arsenal, they will go away to Vitoria de Guimaraes and collect all three points. Playing away from London could help the team’s mind frame. Matchday 4 should see over 2.5 goals scored as both teams find the back of the net in an Arsenal victory.

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