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Arsenal vs Dundalk prediction, preview, team news and more | UEFA Europa League 2020-21

Arsenal
Arsenal's Emirates Stadium hosts UEFA Europa League action again
Sunaadh Sagar
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 27 Oct 2020, 20:59 IST
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UEFA Europa League action returns to the Emirates on Thursday night, as Arsenal face Dundalk in their second round of Group B fixtures.

Arsenal are joined by Molde on top of the group, with Dundalk in third place after losing their opening game.

Arsenal had a bit of trouble overcoming Rapid Wien in their opening European game, with late goals from David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sparing their blushes in a 2-1 win.

No such goals saved them against Leicester over the weekend in the Premier League, with Arsenal turning in a poor performance and getting sucker-puched by a late Jamie Vardy goal to lose 1-0 at the Emirates.

The Gunners are 11th in the Premier League table, and will be hoping to bounce back in the Europa League.

As for Dundalk, they were left disappointed after Sean Murray's opening goal was canceled out by goals from Etzaz Hussain and Anthony Omoijuanfo in the second half, giving Molde a 2-1 win in Ireland.

The defending champions of Ireland's Premier Division faced further disappointment in league action, going down to Waterford in a 1-0 loss, albeit with a much-changed lineup.


Arsenal vs Dundalk Head-to-Head

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Arsenal have never faced Dundalk in UEFA competitions before, playing for the first time against Irish opposition.

Dundalk last made the trip to England in the 1980s, facing off against Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. The best result they managed was a 1-1 draw at home against Spurs, something they hope to better in their trip to North London.

Arsenal form guide: W-W-L-W-L

Dundalk form guide: W-D-W-L-L


Arsenal vs Dundalk Team News

David Luiz will miss the game against Dundalk
David Luiz will miss the game against Dundalk

Mikel Arteta saw David Luiz limp off with hamstring trouble against Leicester City and is dealing with a full-blown centre-back injury crisis, despite Arsenal employing eight of them. Sokratis and WIlliam Saliba weren't registered by Arsenal for this competition, a decision that the Gunners may come to regret.

Shkodran Mustafi is likely to start, but with Gabriel Magalhaes needing a rest, Sead Kolasinac might be employed as a left-sided centre-back, although Mo Elneny is also an emergency option, should Calum Chambers be unable to attain fitness in time.

With a match against Manchester United up next, Arteta is likely to ring in the changes, especially given the quality of opposition they are facing.

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Injuries: David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding, Gabriel Martinelli

Doubtful: Calum Chambers, Willian

Suspensions: None

Dundalk were a semi-professional club the last time they made the Europa League group stages in 2016, oo it's no surprise that their manager Filippo Giovagnoli lacks a UEFA Pro license and will not be allowed on the touchline against Arsenal.

Nonetheless, the Italian will be the one calling the shots, and it's not surprising that all of his playing squad are fully fit for a historic game against Arsenal. Giovagnoli is likely to persist with the same starting XI that led for over an hour against Molde last week.

Injuries: None

Doubtful: None

Suspensions: None


Arsenal vs Dundalk Predicted Lineups

Arsenal Predicted XI (3-4-3): Runar Alex Runarsson (GK); Shkodran Mustafi, Mohamed Elneny, Sead Kolasinac; Cedric Soares, Joe Willock, Emile Smith Rowe, Ainsley Maitland-Niles; Nicolas Pepe, Edward Nketiah, Reiss Nelson

Dundalk (4-3-3): Gary Rogers (GK); Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Daniel Cleary, Darragh Leahy; Sean Murray, Chris Shields, Patrick McEleney; John Mountney, Patrick Hoban, Michael Duff


Arsenal vs Dundalk Prediction

Arsenal are heavy favourites to win this game, even if Mikel Arteta changes most of his regular playing XI. On paper, there is a massive gulf in quality between a Premier League and League of Ireland side, but if Dundalk put in a fearless shift like they did against Molde, they could cause the Gunners some consternation.

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Ultimately, Arsenal ought to triumph, with Eddie Nketiah and Nicolas Pepe likely to get on the scoresheet.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Dundalk

Published 27 Oct 2020, 20:59 IST
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