As we saw earlier this week, everything is possible in football – even an underdog like Roma can achieve a great win against such a big team as Barcelona. So, the question is can something similar happen in the Europa League duel between CSKA and Arsenal. Let’s see in this CSKA Moscow vs. Arsenal match preview!
After 4:1 in London, the Russian team doesn’t have too much hope of getting advanced to the semifinal of this competition. In order to achieve such a feat, they would need to beat Arsenal at least 3:0. What gives them hope is that just two days ago, AS Roma did exactly that against the mighty Barcelona.
Another thing that’s making CSKA optimistic ahead of this clash is that the match is played at their own ground, the Arena CSKA. This is where they will have a support of nearly 30 thousand fans, which can definitely put them in a winning mood.
Although to be frank, they haven’t been too impressive at home, at least not in the last couple of matches. In fact, so far in 2018, they have won two and lost two matches, not counting friendlies. Last weekend, for example, they lost to their city-rivals, Dinamo, which probably means that they can say farewell to the title of Russian Premier League.
With six impressive wins in a row in all competitions, Arsenal seem to be in the best form so far this season. In fact, they’re now one of the top favorites for winning the Europa League. Actually, it seems that winning the trophy is their main focus right now. The reason is simple – winning the Europa League would mean that they’d get to play in this competition even if they failed to finish the Premier League season among the top 5 teams.
Wenger’s boys have a nice advantage ahead of the second part of the doubleheader, which means that the manager might decide to give a couple of players some rest. Although, considering what happened with Barça on Tuesday evening, he might decide to play it safe and go with his usual team.
But, which players are Arsenal’s regulars? Well, this season, 25 different players have played in Arsenal shirt. Still, not all of them managed to put on a good performance. Those who did include Aubameyang, who scored 6 goals in 7 matches he played for Arsenal; Lacazette, who has scored already 3 times this month; as well as Mkhitaryan and Ozil, who have been dominating the midfield in each game in the last couple of weeks.
CSKA Moscow absentees:
- Mario Fernandes (injury)
- Viktor Vasin (injury)
- Santi Cazorla (injury)
- David Ospina (injury)
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan (doubtful)
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles (doubtful)
Akinfeev – Ignashevich, A. Berezutski, V. Berezutski – Natcho, Dzagoev, Golovin, Nababkin, Shchennikov – Vitinho, Musa
Cech – Koscielny, Mustafi, Nacho Monreal, Bellerin, Kolasinac – Wilshere, Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil – Aubameyang
CSKA Moscow vs. Arsenal Match Prediction
What makes Arsenal stand out from many other big-name teams is that their players are super-fast. For example, the right-back, Hector Bellerin, who’s officially the fastest player in Arsenal’s history, can run over a distance of 40 meters in just 4.41. It’s a similar case with many other Arsenal players, including Aubameyang, who is considered to be the quickest attacker in the Premier League.
Why am I saying all this? Because CSKA famously have a very slow defense! No one can argue the talent of their defenders, but the fact is that most of them are in their late thirties – Ignashevich (38 years), the Berezutski twins (35 years), etc.
This is why I see Arsenal scoring at least a couple times on Thursday evening. The hosts might put away a one or two as well, so betting on Over 2.5 seems like the right choice.
CSKA Moscow vs. Arsenal Betting Tips
- Over 2.5 Goals @1.64 (bet365)