Arsenal welcome the visitors BATE in the Europa League Play-offs – 1/16 Finals. The match will be held on Thursday, February, 21st, at the Emirates Stadium (London).
Well, Arsenal are their usual selves. They again demonstrated utter underestimation of the opponent and poker faces as they did not have any plan B for the leg in Barysaw, same as in all outings, actually. In front of their own fans, the ‘Gunners’ conceded to toppers only – Manchester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur. But instead of focusing on home results, we’d better consider the team’s effectiveness within the comforts of the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal are normally scoring a lot on their soil, and the opponents’ strength does not count there. Of five latest home encounters, four saw both teams score. The Thursday match is expected to be a goal-fest either – Arsenal need to play back from their 1:0 loss in the first leg. A 1:0 home win won’t be enough – it will provide just for the extra time; the homeside will have to net at least twice, but, considering their leaky defense, the guests’ goal also seems possible.
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As for BATE, they may be awarded the highest mark for their first-match performance – the Belarussians’ defense was blistering, allowing the Londoners to fashion one or two opportunities, and they converted their single decent set-piece. Notably though, there were more danger moments near Arsenal’s side. BATE newcomer, the striker Milic, did a great job threatening Cech’s goal a few times. However, the travelers are pretty aware that they won’t be able to end with a 0:0 scoreline in London, so, there is no doubt that BATE will сreate chances on Thursday. Actually, in the present Europa League fixtures, BATE have already scored in London when they were defeated by Chelsea, 3:1. In the coming leg, we expect to see a goal-exchange as well. The ‘Gunners’ will find the net, probably more than once, but BATE are also predicted to make another goal.
We’re betting on over 3.5 goals tomorrow. The match will certainly be effective and entertaining. Arsenal, who need to score at least two goals to progress to the next stage, will rush forward from the very beginning and may allow in the end themselves. The sides will surely net four goals at halves.
Prediction for the match: Over 3.5 goals.