Arsenal will be in action on Thursday in the Europa League as they lock horns with Swiss Champions FC Zurich in Group A at Kybunpark.
The Swiss side earned a Champions League play-off spot after winning the league title last season. However, they lost against Azerbaijan’s Qarabag on 5-4 aggregate, pushing them to the Europa League qualifiers.
Franco Foda’s side dominated Linfield over the two legs before also outclassing Scottish side Hearts to make it to the group stage of the second tier of continental competition.
However, the defending champions have made a nightmare start in the Swiss Super League, losing five of their seven matches to be second-last in the table.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are heavy favourites to win the European competition this season. They were the losing finalists in 2019 and also exited the tournament in the semi-finals in 2021.
Mikel Arteta’s side have enjoyed a successful summer transfer window as they have signed several top quality players.
They also made an impressive start in the Premier League, winning their first five matches.
But their 100 percent winning record came to an end last weekend when they suffered a 3-1 loss against Manchester United.
Zurich are one of the most successful teams in Switzerland, having won an incredible 13 league titles and 10 Swiss Cups. They also have the distinction of being the first Swiss team to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League twice.
They made it to the knockouts in their previous Europa League campaign in 2018-19, where they were eliminated by Napoli in the last-32.
The Gunners have not played against FC Zurich in any competitive match before but their record against Swiss teams has been impeccable so far. The Premier League giants have won all six matches against Swiss sides in the past.
FC Zurich don’t have many injury woes ahead of their Europa League match on Thursday, with only Ilan Sauter and Bogdan Viunnyk out of contention for this game.
Both Wilfried Gnonto and Assan Ceesay have left the Swiss side in the summer transfer window, so Aiyegun Tosin will function as their chief attacking threat.
Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta is dealing with a few injury issues, with Reiss Nelson, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny all sidelined for the long-term. Emile Smith Rowe has also picked up a knock in the warm-down at Old Trafford and so his availability is doubtful.
The Spanish boss will likely give his fringe players a chance in the team for this match, with Fabio Vieira, Eddie Nketiah and Matt Turner all likely to start.
FC Zurich vs Arsenal Potential line-ups
FC Zurich: Brecher; Kryeziu, Omeragic, Aliti; Boranijasevic, Dzemaili, Selnaes, Conde, Guerrero; Tosin, Rohner
Arsenal: Turner; Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Lokonga; Saka, Vieira, Martinelli; Nketiah
How to Watch?
FC Zurich vs Arsenal, alongside all other Europa League matches this season, is available to watch online via live soccer streams.
FC Zurich vs Arsenal prediction
Arteta will likely make changes for this game but considering the wealth of youthful talent, Arsenal should not have any problems claiming a comfortable victory.
Zurich have made a disastrous start in the league and we don’t see them getting a good result from the home encounter.
FC Zurich 0-2 Arsenal
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