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Arsenal vs. Qarabag FK: 3 points or bust

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Arsenal really should win this one.

Arsenal v Chelsea - International Champions Cup 2018
Welcome back to the lineup Sead!
Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

On paper, Arsenal should beat Qarabag. It really shouldn’t be close. A win today in Baku would keep the Gunners level with Sporting (I’m assuming they beat Vorskla) and set up the next two Europa League matches (@ Sporting, Sporting at home) to decide Group E.

But funny things can happen when a team takes a 5.5 hour flight midweek to play in an unfamiliar place. Home teams get up to play clubs like Arsenal in front of their fans. If the big club isn’t careful, they can wind up with a poor result — see e.g. CSKA over Real Madrid this week in Moscow or City needing a David Silva goal at the death to beat Hoffenheim.

The point is Arsenal shouldn’t take matches like this lightly.

The Gunners will be without Aaron Ramsey, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Ramsey stayed home because his wife is nearly due to give birth, Aubameyang is recovering from an illness, and Mkhitaryan decided not to travel because of the political tensions between his native Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Arsenal lineup: Leno, Holding, Sokratis, Monreal, Lichtsteiner, Guendouzi, Elneny, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Smite Rowe, Welbeck

Qarabag FK lineup: Vagner, Medvedev, Guseynov, Rzezniczak, Agolli, Michel, Qarayev, Madatov, Ozobic, Zoubir, Emeghara

WHAT: FK Qarabag vs Arsenal

WHEN: Thursday, October 4th, 9:55 AM PST | 12:55 PM EST | 5:55 PM BT

WHERE: Baku Olympic Stadium, Azerbaijan

US TV: Paid streaming on the Bleacher Report Live platform / app. Spanish language broadcast available on UniMas if your cable/satellite provider carries that channel.

As a reminder, apart from the final, no Europa League matches will be televised in the US this season. Matches cost $2.99 to watch individually, $9.99 per month for every match from the Champions League and the EL live and on-demand, or $79.99 for the entire season.

Check out livesoccer.tv for all your international streaming needs. B / R Live streaming is only available in the U.S.

As always, please do not discuss links to illegal streams here.