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UEL: Rapid vs Gunners


The last time Arsenal encountered an Austrian team was in the European Cup in the 1991/92 season. In the season that took place 29 years ago, The Gunners crushed Austria Vienna with a score of 6-1 at home, before losing 0-1 in the return leg. Of course, those memories were far too far away. And their current goal, is to conquer the Europa League throne after two times coming very close to the peaks in the 2017/18 season (in the semi-finals) and 2018/19 (final).
 
That will not be an easy task. Because the Europa League this year has the participation of many famous names, from Milan, Benfica, Napoli, Roma, Leverkusen to two heavy country rivals Tottenham and Leicester. Difficulty will even come to Arsenal in the opening match of the group stage, when they have to be a guest of Rapid Vienna.

Saying that because in addition to home advantage, the Austrian team is also in extremely impressive form. Before the Arsenal reception, the army under coach Dietmar Kuhbauer was unbeaten 7/8 official matches this season (won 6, drew 1), scored 22 goals and conceded only 6 times. In the Europa League alone, regardless of the defeat in the reception of Inter, they were also unbeaten in the last 8/9 home matches.

Without using the strongest team, Coach Arteta is difficult to help Arsenal win on Rapid Vienna's field
Without using the strongest team, Coach Arteta is difficult to help Arsenal win on Rapid Vienna's field

In this series, Rapid Vienna managed to keep Bilbao and Villarreal while defeating Rangers, Basel, Spartak Moscow and Slovan Bratislava. Maybe, these names are not at the same level as Arsenal, but this is still a real warning for the English team. Especially when the trip to Vienna, Coach Arteta may not launch the strongest squad.

Before the match tonight, Arsenal had to deal with a dense and fierce appointment, when they faced Leicester, Liverpool (twice) and Man City in many fronts. The results of this summit series were not really good, as they only won 1 win, while drew 1 and lost 2 matches. Not only that, it also exhausted the pillars of Coach Arteta's hands.

Therefore, for the opening match of the Europa League group stage, the Spanish strategist will give the opportunity to young or less frequent players. Rookie Thomas Partey can start, after he came on as a substitute against Man City. Likewise, Runar Runarsson, Sead Kolasinac, Cedric Soares and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will also be on the starting lineup, instead of Bernd Leno, Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin or Bukayo Saka.

These adjustments will undoubtedly affect Arsenal's strength, but coach Arteta could do nothing else. Since Europa League matches are such rare opportunities to turn around when he returns to the Premeir League, The Gunners are set to face two difficult matches against Leicester and Man United again. When launching a squad full of kids, it is clear that Arteta will not expect too much victory in the opening match of the group stage. Even 1 point in Vienna was probably enough to make him happy.




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