After facing the embarrassing defeat against Watford in the Premier League Arsenal will be keen to win the Europa League match against Red Star Belgrade. Arsenal’s players were really disappointed after the shock defeat in the match against Watford. They had got the lead against Watford at 39th minute of the match with a Goal from Per Mertesacker. But in the second half Deeney’s penalty and Cleverley’s goal at the stoppage time had caused all the damage.
Arsene Wenger had sounded furious about the penalty decision in the post match conference.
He told, “It’s a scandalous decision. We can talk and talk but at the end of the day they scored.”
“We had many dangerous situations where we could score the second goal. The decision of the penalty was ridiculous.”, he added.
But Arsenal had won their 2 Europa League matches so far against Bate Borisov and FC Koln. They will try to maintain that streak against Red Star Belgrade also. By winning this match Arsenal will try to gain some confidence ahead of the clash against Everton in the Premier League this weekend.
On the other hand Red Star Belgrade are in good form in domestic circuit as well as in Europa League also. They are situated in the top of the League Table of the Serbian SuperLiga. In the last match they had beaten FK Macva Sabac with a 4-0 margin. In the Group Stage of Europa League they had drawn against Bate Borisov in the first match with a scoreline of 1-1 and had beaten FC Koln with a 1-0 margin. They will not give Arsenal many chances to snatch easy away points from Serbia.
When and Where :
Arsenal vs Red Star Belgrade will be held on Thursday, 19 October and game kick-off time is 22:30 IST at the Rajko Mitic Stadium.
Team News :
Arsene Wenger will most likely rotate with an important Premier League trip to Everton less than 70 hours later, meaning the likes of Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud will get the chance to impress.
Arsenal will be without Shkodran Mustafi and long term absentee Santi Cazorla for the match. Danny Welbeck is highly doubtful to return following a hamstring injury.
About Welbeck injury Arsene Wenger said that, “I don’t know because everybody is shocked in the dressing room. But it looks like a muscular problem.”
After losing the match against Watford, Arsenal legend Keown told, “Right now, this Arsenal team look a million miles away from becoming champions.” He also added the importance of players like Kolasinac in the Arsenal dressing room, “Wenger needs more players in the mould of Sead Kolasinac — men who are solid, determined and direct.”
Wenger’s leadership in the Arsenal dressing room is also under question after the shock defeat. Alan Pardew told, “Wenger cares passionately, but I’m afraid he has no natural leadership in his dressing room.”
“It doesn’t matter how good you are as a manager, if you’re missing that driving presence in your team, you’re going to struggle.” , he added.
Mesut Ozil’s performance in the Watford match has also been criticised. Alan Pardew said, “Özil’s display at Watford – a sloppy miss then not busting a gut to get back for Watford’s winner – highlighted his lack of drive.”
The dressing room atmosphere of Arsenal is also not seeming to be in good condition. Per Mertesacker openly criticised Arsenal’s strategy after the Watford match. He said, “We have to admit at the end that they wanted it more.
The second half they were all attack and we were timid. We tried to protect the goal we scored and it was not enough.”
So this match against Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League is going to be a huge contest for Arsenal. Any bad result in this match will arise more questions and criticisms for Wenger and Co. So Wenger will be keen to win this match and turn the things around.
On the other side, Red Star Belgrade are in real good form in the Serbian SuperLiga. Red Star are currently top of the Serbian SuperLiga, and have started well in the Europa League as well. They have only dropped points twice domestically with 10 wins from 12.
In the last match against Macva Sabac in the Serbian SuperLiga match they had earned a convincing win with Boakye, Pešić and young Luka Ilić, along with an OG, the scorers.
It’s looking unlikely that Guélor Kanga will be fit for Thursday’s clash with Arsenal. He still hasn’t recovered from a thigh injury. The other players of the squad are ready and fit to take part in the match against Arsenal.
Key Clash :
The key clash of this match is going to be between Olivier Giroud of Arsenal and Richmond Boakye of Red Star Belgrade. Giroud will be keen to score a goal and mark an impact in the game to secure the first team choice ahead of Lacazette in most of the matches. On the other side, Boakye had already scored 4 goals in his 8 appearances for Red Star Belgrade. He will also try to get a goal against Arsenal to help his team to win this match.
ARSENAL VS RED STAR BELGRADE HEAD TO HEAD RECORDS :
Arsenal have played Red Star just twice before, almost 40 years ago in the UEFA Cup. Red Star won 1-0 in Belgrade and were held to a 1-1 draw at Highbury.
Predicted First Eleven :
Red Star Belgrade :