Europa League: Arsenal must not fall victim to underestimating opponents

In the most recent set of Champions League fixtures we’ve seen the best of Europe fall victim to a team more determined for a positive result. Arsenal must not fall into the trap of believing their three goal advantage is a safe score line.

Putting all doubt aside regarding Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger, one has to commend the Frenchman on the unbeaten run Arsenal has been on. Six wins in as many across all competitions is the perfect response after getting derailed from their fight for top six.

Another excellent point for the North London club is the fact they haven’t looked back since their brainless loss to minnow, Ostersund. This was exactly where Arsenal undermined their opponents.

Now their next challenge – seeing out ex-Champions League participants, CSKA Moscow.

This challenge will be far different from the last, all because of Mother Russia being a difficult place to try and play football. Teams do usually struggle, but hey this could be World Cup preparation for some.

In saying this – the Russian outfit have really struggled against English opposition this term.

Including their loss to the Gunners in the first leg [4-1], CSKA have lost all three of their last fixtures against English opposition. In these three games alone they managed to concede 10 goals and only score three [One in each game].

A bold statement to make but a statement needed to be made… Arsenal are heavy favourites going into their Europa tie tonight in Moscow. The perfect draw was followed by an almost perfect opening match.

Why almost perfect? The away goal the English club couldn’t keep out and make it four to no answer. We’ve seen it happen it to Barcelona a couple of nights back, it could very well happen tonight if the Gunners switch back to their old antics.

What’s going on heading into tonight’s Europa clash?

The biggest blow for the travelling team is injury absentees, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Granit Xhaka. The former will miss tonight’s clash and has been sidelined for the remainder of the 2017-2018 campaign. Whereas the latter – only missing due to flu.

Sad news while the North London club enjoys their best football on the pitch, and a long stretch at that. Besides these two sore notes, what Wenger can be cheerful about is that his entire front line’s in red-hot form.

In the last six encounters Arsenal’s front three, Aubameyang, Welbeck, and Lacazette has a combined total of 10 goals. With Ramsey being the midfielder with the most goals across the six, it takes the tally to 13 goals. That’s two goals a game – The firepower that’s been dormant for a while.

All are fit and ready to take the field. With Henrikh out, could we see a front three, or two for the Gunners? We set for a cold, grueling clash tonight when the two meet later in Moscow.

Will Arsenal prove to be weak, follow suit, and flounder their three goal advantage? Or will they buckle up and take CSKA Moscow out in their own backyard.

Match time: 19:05 GMT
Venue: The VEB Arena
Score prediction: CSKA Moscow 1-2 Arsenal