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ARSENAL welcome Slavia Prague to the Emirates for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie.
The Gunners are winless in three games and were somewhat fortunate to see off Olympiacos in the last round.
Slavia meanwhile are unbeaten in all competitions since December 10 and knocked out Rangers in the last-16.
When is Arsenal vs Slavia Prague?
- The first-leg of this Europa League tie is set for Thursday, April 8.
- Kick-off is at 8pm GMT.
- These sides last met here in 2007, when the Gunners ran out emphatic 7-0 winners.
What TV channel is Arsenal vs Slavia Prague on and can I live stream it?
You can catch all of the action live on BT Sport 1.
Coverage will begin at 7pm.
If you’re a BT Sport subscriber or have BT Broadband, you can stream by downloading the official app on your mobile, tablet, PC or games console.
How can I watch for free?
- EE customers can get BT Sport INCLUDED to their plan at no extra cost if they are on a plan with Smart Benefits – simply log in to EE and choose BT Sport app.
- And then get it on the big screen by texting SPORT to 150 to get a FREE three-month trial of large screen so you can cast all the action on your TV.
- At the end of the three months you will automatically roll onto the £15 per month subscription unless cancelled.
What is the team news?
Arsenal XI: Leno, Bellerín, Holding, Gabriel, Cédric, Partey, Xhaka, Willian, Smith Rowe, Saka, Lacazette
Slavia XI: Kolar, Bah, Zima, Holes, Boril, Dorley, Provod, Stanciu, Hromada, Olayinka, Sima.
- Arsenal to win – 8/15
- Draw – 3/1
- Slavia Prague victory – 9/2
- Gunners to qualify – 2/7
*All odds from Paddy Power and correct at time of publication.
Abdallah Sima is Slavia Prague’s danger man and he’s one Arsenal will have to watch closely.
Sima, 19, has scored 19 goals and provided six assists across all competitions this season.
Four of the 19 goals have come in the Europa League, including goals against Leicester City in the round of 32, and OGC Nice.
Sima has attracted lots of attention from some top clubs across Europe – one team watching him closely is Premier League outfit West Ham.
The Hammers have a good relationship with Slavia Prague, and have already picked up two players in the last year and a half for a combined amount of £20million (Tomas Soucek & Vladimir Coufal).
Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images
33 Ryan, 44 Hein, 22 Mari, 49 Lopez, 25 Elneny, 8 Ceballos, 66 Azeez, 24 Nelson, 19 Pepe, 30 Nketiah, 35 Martinelli, 14 Aubameyang.
Alexander Lacazette will take the captains armband with club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starting from the bench.
1 Leno; 2 Bellerin, 16 Holding, 6 Gabriel, 17 Cedric; 18 Partey, 34 Xhaka; 7 Saka, 32 Smith Rowe, 12 Willian; 9 Lacazette (c).
SLAVIA PRAGUE BENCH
31 Kovar, 13 Stejskal, 11 Tecl, 16 Kuchta, 23 Sevcik, 27 Traore, 28 Masopust, 32 Lingr, 41 Visinsky.
SLAVIA PRAGUE XI
Kolar returns in goal for Salvia Prague, recovering from a horrific head injury.
1 Kolar; 5 Bah, 3 Holes, 6 Zima, 18 Boril (c); 25 Hromada; 9 Olayinka, 17 Provod, 7 Stanciu, 19 Oscar; 12 Sima.
VARIETY OF GOAL SCORERS
15 different players have scored for Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League this season (own goals excluded), the most unique scorers of any side this season; the only side to have more different players score for them in a single UEFA Europa League campaign were Arsenal in 2017-18 (16).
Credit: Getty Images
This is Arsenal’s 16th quarter-final tie in major European competition, progressing from nine of the previous 15, including each of the last two – versus CSKA Moscow in 2017-18 and Napoli in 2018-19, both in this competition.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta gave his thoughts in Arsenal’s official matchday programme ahead of tonight’s game and honestly admitted his side has “lost too many games”.
Arteta said: “We have lost too many games this season but every defeat is different.
“The image that we showed on Saturday and the lack of clarity in what we needed to get out from the game – the standard was nowhere near what we want.
“I am fully responsible for that.”
The Arsenal boss has also highlighted that their actions as a team are more important than words.
Arteta said: “It’s about our actions now, not our words. There has to be a response on the pitch.
“The minimum that we can do now is to perform at a completely different level against Slavia Prague.
And we will need to be because Slavia Prague have shown many times this season, and in the last few years, what a dangerous side they are.
“They have got a lot of good results in the competition already, beating Leicester City and Rangers in the knockout rounds, so this is another big test for us.”
Credit: Getty Images
Slavia Prague will become the first team to face three British opponents (Leicester, Rangers and Arsenal) in the knockout rounds of a UEFA European competition since AC Milan in the 2006-07 Champions League (Celtic, Man Utd and Liverpool).
In all European competition Arsenal are unbeaten against Czech opposition (W7 D1 L0), keeping seven clean sheets in eight matches; they have scored 22 times and conceded only twice across these games.
The only previous matches between Arsenal and Slavia Prague in European competition were in the group stages of the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League – Arsenal won 7-0 at home before drawing 0-0 away.
In the 7-0 win, five of Arsenal’s goals were scored by players aged 20 or younger (x2 Walcott, x2 Fàbregas, x1 Bendtner).
And welcome to the live blog for Arsenal vs Slavia Prague!
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners welcome Slavia Prague to the Emirates for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie.
Arsenal haven’t won a game in their last three and were rather fortunate to get through the last round against Olympaicos.
Slavia, on the other hand, are unbeaten across all competitions since December 10 and have already claimed the scalps of Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, and Premier League high-flyers Leicester!
The winner of this tie will go on to face either Dinamo Zagreb or Spanish outfit Villarreal.
And if Arsenal get through and face Villarreal, they’ll come across a familiar face in former boss and Europa League specialist Unai Emery.
In terms of team news, Arsenal will be without key defender Kieran Tierney who limped off in the defeat to Liverpool.
Emile Smith Rowe could miss out tonight with Arsenal not keen to rush the youngster back from a thigh issue.
In more positive news, Bukayo Saka could return to the starting line-up.
As for Slavia, they’ll be without David Hovorka but could have goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar back.
The teamsheets are due to be released in half an hour so don’t go anywhere!
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