Arsenal v Qarabag FK Preview: Can the Gunners extend their unbeaten run?
Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal v Qarabag FK Preview: Can the Gunners extend their unbeaten run?

Match preview ahead of Arsenal's final Europa League group game as they host Qarabag FK. 

rosie-tudball
Rosie Tudball

Arsenal face their final Europa League match before February, as the Gunners host Qarabag FK at the Emirates on Thursday evening. 

It’s a match with little relevance for Arsenal, who have already qualified as group winners ahead of the knock-out stages. 

Unai Emery’s team will, however, look to continue their 21-game undefeated streak, with their last defeat dating back to August. 

Thursday nights visitors will also use the game as more of a training session, as the team from Azerbaijan have failed to qualify for the knockout rounds, with just one win in Group E.  

Despite having contrasting form in Europe, both Arsenal and Qarabag have lost just two games this season domestically. 

European Form

In the last round of group matches, Arsenal were 3-0 winners in Ukraine as their young side eased past Vorskla. Emile Smith Rowe starred for the Gunners, and is expected to play a big part in Thursday’s match.  

Qarabag had a game to forget in their previous Europa League match, as they were handed a lesson in football by group E runners-up Sporting Lisbon. The Portuguese giants were 6-1 winners on the night in Azerbaijan and confirmed Qarabag’s exit from the competition. 

Team news

Arsenal have been handed a boost as midfielder Mesut Özil has returned from an extensive stay on the sidelines following a back injury, Laurent Koscielny will too be in contention to start.  

Aaron Ramsey will miss out on the game, after suffering an injury at Old Trafford last week.  

Qarabag have no injury concerns ahead of the game, the only one being the long-term injury to goal-getter Innocent Emeghara, which has contributed to their low-scoring record in the competition.  

With Qarabag’s low scoring being a struggle for Thursday’s visitors anyway, Arsenal have maintained an impressive defensive record in the group stage, conceding just two goals in five games. The Gunners have also managed to keep a clean sheet in their previous four games in the competition. 

Emery has shed some light on who we will expect to see in action, the Spaniard hinting that some of the club’s young guns will have their time to shine.  

Our objective is to win and we are going to give players chances to take responsibility," he said. 

Predicted Line-ups: 

Arsenal: Cech; Jenkinson, Sokratis, Koscielny, Maitland-Niles; Elneny, Guendouzi; Willock, Smith Rowe, Iwobi; Nketiah.

Qarabag: Vagner; Medvedev, Sadiqov, Rzezniczak, Guerrier; Qarayev, Michel; Madatov, Ozobic, Zoubir; Abdullayev.

VAVEL Logo

Arsenal FC News