Arsenal return to the Emirates Thursday evening following a come-from-behind draw on the road against Manchester United. The Gunners will host Standard Liege in matchday two of the Europa League group stage. Arsenal and Standard Liege were the two winners from matchday one. The Belgian side should be another quality test for what is expected to be a mixture of young talent and first team veterans from Unai Emery.
If you are unfamiliar with Standard Liege or just need a refresher here is a quick run down of some key things to know ahead of the match:
Last Season: Finished third in the Jupiler Pro League, advanced to the sixth round of the Belgian Cup and lost in the Belgian SuperCup to kick off last year. In Europe the club were knocked out in the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League by Ajax, before stalling out in the group stages of the Europa League.
Last Trophy: Belgian Cup winners in 2017-18.
Manager: Michel Preud’homme, who appeared for the club 240 times in the 1970s and 80s. This is his third stint managing Standard Liege, having returned at the start of last season. As a player he won the Belgian league twice and was named Goalkeeper of the Year four times. Preud’homme won the Jupiler Pro League with the club in 2007/08.
Ground: Stade Maurice Dufrasne. Built in 1909, the ground holds a capacity of 27,670.
Series History: Arsenal have faced Standard Liege four times, winning all four. The two sides have met twice in the Champions League and twice in the UEFA European Cup Winners Cup (now the Europa League). The last match between the clubs was a 2-0 win for Arsenal in the 2009 Champions League group stage.
Transfers In: More than 20 players were brought into the club either through transfers or returning from loans. The biggest signing of the summer was the permanent deal for center back Zinho Vanheusden for $14m from Inter Milan, after spending last year on loan at Standard. Watford forward, and 2018/19 loanee, Obbi Oulare was secured to a permanent move as well.
Transfers Out: 10+ players left the club over the summer through sales, free moves, new loans out or loans into the club expiring. Most notable were Moussa Djenepo (sold to Southampton), Razvan Marin (sold to Ajax), and Guillermo Ochoa (returned to Liga MX).
Injuries: Forward Orlando Sá and center back Noë Dussenne have been out injured. While midfielder Merveille Bokadi was just ruled out for the majority of the season following an injury last week.
Form: Standard Liege haven’t lost in their past five matches, winning four and drawing their most recent. During that run the club has scored 12 goals and allowed only three. They currently sit in second place in the Pro League table. Standard Liege opened this year’s Europa League group stage with a 2-0 win over Vitoria.
Last Match: 1-1 draw at home against Charleroi. Paul-José M’Poku scored a 90th minute equalizer to salvage a point.
Player Stats: Winger Maxime Lestienne leads the team in goals with five across all competitions, while Mehdi Carcela-González is the club’s top assist man with four.
You can watch Arsenal return to Europa League action against Standard Liege this Thursday at 3 pm ET / 12 pm PT on B/R Live.