Arsenal will continue their responsibilities in the Europa League on Thursday night. They play the delayed match against the Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven. Arsenal needs just a point to secure a spot in the top two of the Europa League.
The authorities were compelled to reschedule the Group A encounter between the Gunners and Ruud van Nistelrooy’s team because of the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the state funeral that followed.
Originally, the match between the two teams was scheduled to take place at the Emirates Stadium.
Our Match Preview: Arsenal vs PSV Eindhoven
Arsenal was lucky to win a match for the first time this season thanks to Bukayo Saka’s goal against Leeds United at Elland Road.
Saka scored from a close angle before Patrick Bamford fluffed his lines from 12 yards, but the England striker was given a chance to make amends when Gabriel Magalhaes seemed to kick at him.
VAR identified an earlier foul on Gabriel from Bamford, allowing him to remain on the field and rescinding the penalty award. Mikel Arteta’s team currently leads Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur by four points.
The Gunners have nine points from three Europa League games, two more than PSV Eindhoven and five more than Bodo/Glimt, whom they defeated 1-0 last week.
Due to head-to-head records against Bodo/Glimt, Arsenal will earn a spot in the knockout round play-offs with a draw on Thursday. A victory would mean they would need only two points from their next two games to finish first and proceed to the last 16.
Arteta’s team has won seven straight games in all competitions and each of their previous nine at home with two goals each time, but they will face their hardest test this week. PSV must harness their clinical energy if they are to upset Group A after thrashing FC Zurich 5-0 last week.
Joey Veerman scored twice while Erick Gutierrez, Ibrahim Sangare, and Anwar El Ghazi all scored as PSV took seven points from their opening three games to lie second at the halfway stage.
Victory on Thursday would put Van Nistelrooy’s team six points ahead of Bodo/Glimt with two games left, but they must still face the Norwegian side again following a 1-1 draw in their first meeting, meaning they will have to wait for qualifying no matter what happens this week. After hitting five unanswered goals over Zurich, PSV thrashed Utrecht 6-1 in the Eredivisie to maintain one point behind Ajax in the standings.
It is now four straight victories for Van Nistelrooy’s side in all events. Arsenal and PSV have played six times in the Champions League, with Arsene Wenger’s squad losing 2-1 on aggregate in 2006-07. The Dutch side has only scored three goals in 540 minutes of the game against Arsenal.
Our Team News: Arsenal vs PSV Eindhoven
Injuries have not changed much for Arsenal over the previous few weeks, with Emile Smith Rowe (groin) and Mohamed Elneny (hamstring) remaining out for the season and Oleksandr Zinchenko’s calf still a question mark.
When Arteta named a formidable team to face Bodo/Glimt, people were taken aback. However, the Spaniard is expected to start most of his big guns on Thursday, including Saka, Granit Xhaka, and Thomas Partey.
Although Reiss Nelson’s performance in his first Arsenal start in over a year and a half in Norway was less than stellar, his familiarity with Dutch opponents should increase the likelihood that he will be recalled for this match.
Fabio Vieira and Eddie Nketiah, despite the importance of the game, are also candidates for recall.
Yorbe Vertessen (muscle), Ismael Saibari (hamstring), Noni Madueke (ankle), Olivier Boscagli (knee), Marco van Ginkel (hamstring), Luuk de Jong (calf), and Mauro Junior (groin) are just some of the PSV players who will be out for the midweek match due to injuries.
While El Ghazi’s double off the bench may not be enough to dislodge Xavi Simons, who also made the net ripple twice on the day, Guus Til should function as the main point in attack at the Emirates after scoring twice on the weekend.
On Thursday, Arsenal will face off against Cody Gakpo, a player who was linked to them in the offseason but stayed with PSV.
The Dutchman has been a bright spot for PSV, which is grateful that they were able to maintain the dynamic in the future. In 18 games, he has 13 goals and 11 assists.
- Arsenal possible starting lineup: Turner, White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Vieira, Martinelli, Nketiah.
- PSV Eindhoven possible starting lineup: Benitez, Mwene, Ramalho, Obispo, Max, Sangare, Gutierrez, Simons, Veerman, Gakpo, Til.
Our Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 PSV Eindhoven
It is hard to believe that Arsenal kept clean sheets in their games against Bodo/Glimt and Leeds, and it is safe to say that a repeat performance from the Gunners on Sunday would result in heavy punishment at the hands of a vicious PSV team.
PSV may feel secure bringing a point back to base after an exciting spectacle, despite Arteta expecting his reshuffled team to be back to their best with the Emirates fans behind them to earn a spot in the final stages.