There’s been a good deal of negativity surrounding Arsenal after last weekend’s debacle at Bramall Lane. I should know, I wrote some of it. I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning, the Nationals are up 2-0 in the World Series, and it’s a beautiful, crisp fall day in D.C., so I’m going to be positive about today’s match at the Emirates against Portuguese side Vitória Guimarães.
The Europa League has been a cool, educational experience for me as a football fan. I’ve been introduced to smaller clubs across Europe, from Portugal to Azerbaijan, seen some of the rising stars of Europe play (like Kalidou Koulibaly at Napoli last season), and met some old friends along the way (hello, Alexander Hleb at BATE Borisov last year). I’ve learned about geopolitical conflicts (Armenia-Azerbaijan) and playing in below freezing temperatures (Östersund).
I’ve had a chance to see the next generation talent of Arsenal in action, and those youngsters have gotten valuable match experience. Like many of you, I’m also ready for the Europa League adventures to end, but that’s a discussion for a different day.
A win today takes the Gunners to 9 points in the EL and gives them a stranglehold on the group. Unai Emery has named a strong lineup today, and I’m excited to see Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney in action again. I’ll also be watching Ainsley Maitland-Niles closely — he’s been freed from right back purgatory.
Arsenal - Martinez, Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Tierney, Torreira, Willock, Maitland-Niles, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Lacazette
Vitoria - Miguel Silva, Victor Garcia, Tapsoba, Venâncio, Florent, Mikel, Poha, André Almeida, Davidson, Marcus Edwards e Bruno Duarte
WHAT: Arsenal v. Vitória Guimarães
WHERE: Emirates Stadium
WHEN: Thursday, August 24th 12 PM PT | 3 PM ET | 8 PM BST
US TV: TUDN USA in Spanish. Streaming in English on B / R Live ($$$).
For all your international streaming needs, check livesoccer.tv. As always, please do not discuss links to illegal streams here.