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xGunners: Arsenal at Östersunds FK Stats Preview

Previewing Arsenal’s Europa League opponent Östersunds FK

FBL-EUR-C3-DRAW Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal travel to Östersunds FK this Thursday in their round of 32 Europa League match. If you are like me you are probably not familiar with the Swedish Allsvenskan.

My research shows that Östersunds qualified for the Europa League by winning the 2016 Swedish Cup after finishing 8th of 16 teams. The latest season saw them improve their league finish up to 5th place but fall three points short of a return to the Europa League.

Their last League match was back in November of 2017 with just a pair of Europa League clashes and a Swedish Cup match between to keep sharp. They should be well rested and perhaps a bit rusty from a lack of competitive matches.

Europa League Stats

In their group the finished tied on points with Athletic Bilbao with a better goal differential (+4 to +3) but qualified second due to the head to head match favoring Bilbao.

The lost just one match in the group stage but the statistics suggest that they were fortunate to finish with as good a record as they did.

Östersunds FK Stats

Home Team Away Team Home Goals Home xG Away xG Away Goals
Home Team Away Team Home Goals Home xG Away xG Away Goals
Zorya Oestersunds FK 0 0.99 1.48 2
Oestersunds FK Hertha Berlin 1 1.64 2.78 0
Oestersunds FK Athletic Bilbao 2 2.93 1.69 2
Athletic Bilbao Oestersunds FK 1 3.23 0.28 0
Oestersunds FK Zorya 2 0.98 0.89 0
Hertha Berlin Oestersunds FK 1 1.88 1.04 1

In their 4 matches against teams from the Bundesliga and La Liga they produced 5.89 xG and conceded 9.59 xG. In those matches they conceded 12 big chances and 32 shots from the danger zone while they only created just 9 big chances and 13 shots from the danger zone.

Player Stats

Östersunds FK Player Stats

Player Offensive Value Added Total Take On Value Carry Value Added Dribble Value Dispossessed Value Lost Total Value Added Passing Positive Pass Value Negative Pass Value PPVA Per 50 Passes PPVA per 90 Shot Location Value xG Chain Minutes Played Passes
Player Offensive Value Added Total Take On Value Carry Value Added Dribble Value Dispossessed Value Lost Total Value Added Passing Positive Pass Value Negative Pass Value PPVA Per 50 Passes PPVA per 90 Shot Location Value xG Chain Minutes Played Passes
Saman Ghoddos 2.75 0.72 1.28 0.41 -0.96 0.83 1.45 -0.59 0.32 0.14 1.17 4.62 540 129
Ken Sema 2.44 0.85 0.99 0.51 -0.65 1.1 2.09 -0.86 0.39 0.18 0.35 3.84 540 143
Curtis Edwards 1.37 -0.09 0.27 0.12 -0.48 0.84 2.28 -1.41 0.16 0.14 0.59 4.42 540 260
Ronald Mukiibi 0.53 -0.2 -0.04 0.13 -0.29 0.53 1.93 -1.37 0.08 0.09 0.17 4.2 503 315
Tom Pettersson 0.36 0.06 0.02 0.15 -0.11 0.12 0.93 -0.81 0.03 0.02 0.18 3.57 540 234
Dennis Widgren 0.21 -0.06 0.06 0.03 -0.15 0.18 0.85 -0.67 0.07 0.07 0.08 1.87 249 131
Sotiris Papagiannopoulos 0.1 -0.15 -0.18 0.12 -0.09 0.09 0.86 -0.77 0.02 0.01 0.16 4.1 540 251
Hosam Aiesh 0.05 -0.12 0.08 0.02 -0.23 0.1 0.35 -0.25 0.14 0.09 0.07 0.49 101 36
Brwa Nouri 0.04 -0.25 0.15 0.16 -0.56 -0.12 1.12 -1.23 -0.02 -0.02 0.4 3.17 516 264
Samuel Mensah 0.03 -0.06 -0.01 0 -0.05 0.09 0.16 -0.07 0.28 0.15 0 0.24 53 16
Frank Arhin -0.02 -0.03 -0.03 0 0 0.01 0.01 0 0.18 0.13 0 0.09 5 2
Fouad Bachirou -0.15 -0.03 0.25 0.31 -0.59 -0.26 0.8 -1.03 -0.07 -0.04 0.11 4.26 540 194
Alhaji Gero -0.18 -0.61 0.53 0.18 -1.33 -0.24 0.39 -0.63 -0.2 -0.05 0.66 3.85 394 58
Gabriel Somi -0.26 -0.13 0.16 0 -0.29 -0.34 0.8 -1.14 -0.15 -0.12 0.21 3.33 258 109
Jamie Hopcutt -0.31 -0.3 -0.01 0 -0.29 -0.01 0.06 -0.08 -0.05 -0.02 0 0.56 86 15
Aly Keita -0.74 -0.29 -0.18 0 -0.11 -0.45 0.76 -1.21 -0.13 -0.08 0 2.91 540 177

Looking at the stats, Saman Ghoddos is their main goal threat leading the team with 1.81 xG in the group stages while also leading the team in total offense value added and xG chain.

Ken Sema is the main creative talent for Östersunds FK. He led the team in xG with 2.18 in the group stages and was their highest rated passer in passing value added.

Looking at how they buildup, Ronald Mukiibi was their leader in final third entry attempts and completed passes. Mukiibi plays as a center back and this suggests that Östersunds FK look to play long fairly regularly (about 15% of their total passes are classified as long balls).

Defensively, the statistics suggest that they are not a team that presses high up the pitch. Overall they have 13.2 defensive actions per opponents pass (higher defensive actions per pass suggest a higher pressure team) and just 19.9 in the middle third and their own offense third combined.

With Arsenal looking at a midfield crisis, a team that doesn’t challenge the midfield is a welcome sign.

Overall Arsenal should have more than enough to get past Östersunds FK and on to the next round, even with the injuries starting to pile up. The important thing will be to make sure to not slip up in the opening away match (grabbing an away goal and a win would be nice) and allow for the match to be won at home.