UEFA Europa League 2019-20: Vitoria SC v Arsenal FC - Gunners predicted XI, team news and more
Arsenal travel to Portugal to take on Vitoria SC in the UEFA Europa League, as they look to register a victory that will come as a welcome distraction to everything that's been happening around the club lately. On the pitch, the Gunners are going through a rough patch, to say the least and are winless in their last three games in all competitions.
In the light of recent events, the North-London club have also been marred by speculation surrounding manager Unai Emery and captain Granit Xhaka. Emery's job has come under immense scrutiny in recent weeks and Xhaka has been frozen out of the team after his angry confrontation with the fans, following his substitution in the Gunners' 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.
Last season's Europa League finalists needed a stunning Nicolas Pepe brace off the bench to secure all three points in the reverse fixture and Emery's side will be eager to get the job done earlier this time around.
Key match facts
Arsenal have won just two of their last six games in all competitions.
Vitoria SC are the only winless side in Group F and the Portuguese club have lost all three games in Europe this season.
This is only the second meeting between the two sides in Europe and Arsenal won the reserve fixture 3-2.
Granit Xhaka could return to the squad after being frozen out of the team for their last two games. The Swiss midfielder is expected to partner Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the centre of the park as Emery aims to keep things fresh for his side.
Gabriel Martinelli has burst onto the scene for the Gunners after his move from Brazil this summer and the young striker is set to lead the line once again. Record signing Nicolas Pepe, who was an unused substitute in the weekend, is also expected to start for the London club.
Injuries: Reiss Nelson (knee)
Arsenal predicted XI (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Shkodran Mustafi, Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka, Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe