BATE Borisov vs Arsenal preview: Gunners looking to continue winning form

Arsène Wenger's side head to Belarus to take on BATE Borisov in their Europa League group.

BATE Borisov vs Arsenal preview: Gunners looking to continue winning form
Arsenal train ahead of Europa League meeting with BATE Borisov (Photo Credit: Getty Images / NurPhoto)

Following a run of impressive form, Arsenal will take on the unfamiliar BATE Borisov in their second UEFA Europa League match. The Gunners have never faced the side from Belarus, so it will be interesting to see how both teams fare in this match up.

Arsenal suffered a shaky start to their 2017/18 campaign, enduring consecutive losses against Stoke City and Liverpool respectively. However, since that hammering to Liverpool, Arsène Wenger has fixed the team and they are unbeaten since.

Playing only one game in the Europa League this season, it's fair to say that the Gunners have impressed. They took on 1. FC Köln and despite fielding a weaker side, they emerged as deserved 3-1 winners.

But, all that is in the past. What can we look forward to heading in to this evening's game in Belarus?

Another display of Arsenal's youth

It was unclear how Arsenal were going to treat the Europa League, but if their game against Köln is anything to go by, it looks like Wenger will look to field youth.

Most fans are in favour of this. There are some electrifying talents coming through the youth ranks in North London, and with Arsenal's focus being taken by the Premier League, why not experiment youth in the Europa League?

The likes of Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock, among many other young players will look at this as a chance to thrive.

With the already busy schedule of the Premier League only exacerbated by the Europa League timetable, it makes sense to rotate the squad heavily. We can expect many young players being given the chance tonight.

Embed from Getty Images

A look at BATE Borisov

BATE are not to be underestimated. The Belarusian side have won their respective domestic league for the last 11 years and counting.

They dominate Belarusian football quite heavily, and to be the dominant force of any country is any achievement.

However, their Europa League record will have Arsenal fans excited. BATE have played 42 Europa League (UEFA Cup) games and have lost 20 of them, drawing eight and winning 15.

This isn't a very good record, but it shows they have experience in the competition, and they may be able to pull a surprise out of the bag for Arsene Wenger's men.

Predicted lineups

Arsenal: Ospina, Holding, Mertesacker, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Iwobi, Nelson, Walcott, Giroud, Alexis.

BATE Borisov: Scherbitshi, Rios, Hayduchyk, Milunovic, Polyakov, Volodko, Yablonskiy, Gordeychuk, Ivanic, Stasevich, Rodionov.