Vitoria Guimaraes v Arsenal preview: Why is the Europa League match being played on Wednesday and what are the best bets?

We provide our predictions and best bets for Arsenal's latest Europa League clash
We provide our predictions and best bets for Arsenal's latest Europa League clash

Arsenal's Europa League group clash takes place on Wednesday afternoon against Vitoria Guimaraes. George Pitts explains why it is taking place at this time and provides his best bet.

Recommended bets

1pt Arsenal to score 3+ goals at 11/4

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


When is Vitoria Guimaraes v Arsenal?

It takes place on Wednesday, November 6 at Guimaraes' Estadio D. Afonso Henriques Stadium and is due to kick-off at 1550 GMT.

How can I watch it?

It will be screened live on BT Sport 2.

Why is it being played at this time?

Europa League games generally take place at 1755 or 2000 (UK time) on Thursdays, but two teams from the same region cannot play their home games on the same date. Nearby Braga face Besiktas at home on November 7, so it had to be moved.

Broadcasting rules state that matches cannot clash with the Champions League, so through a combination of the above (fan congestion, safety, broadcasting) it has been moved to Wednesday afternoon.


Betting preview

Nicolas Pepe scores for Arsenal against Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League
Nicolas Pepe scores for Arsenal against Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League

The Gunners' crisis worsened on Saturday as they blew a lead against Wolves to extend their run of draws to three matches - they've managed just one win in five - further piling the pressure on Unai Emery.

There have been conflicting reports about his job - some say Freddie Ljungberg (Emery's assistant) could step in as caretaker, others that there has been talk of a meeting with Jose Mourinho, and there's talk the Spaniard has a month to prove his worth - and he really needs a win here.

Arsenal's only success in their recent run came in the reverse fixture against Guimaraes, twice coming from behind before Nicolas Pepe sealed a late winner.

As poor as they have been domestically, Arsenal have made a perfect start in the Europa League groups and, against a Guimaraes side with nine first-team injuries, it should continue.

Emery's much-changed and youthful teams have been firing in the competition, scoring at least three goals in five of their last six and that makes the 11/4 price on them to score at least three here rather eye-catching.

Keep an eye out for Guimaraes' Leo Bonatini, on loan from Wolves, who has scored two in his last three in all competitions (available at around 2/1 anytime in places), but Guimaraes have failed to win in five of their last six across all competitions and even Arsenal should prove superior.

Prediction: Guimaraes 1-3 Arsenal (Sky Bet odds: 14/1)

Best bet: Arsenal to score 3+ goals at 11/4

Opta stats

  • Vitória Guimarães have only won one of their eight previous meetings with English sides in all competitions (D3 L4), beating Aston Villa 1-0 in September 1983.
  • Arsenal have only won one of their seven away games against Portuguese sides (D3 L3), though it was their last such match at Sporting CP in last season’s Europa League.
  • Vitória Guimarães are looking to avoid four consecutive defeats in all European competition for the first time since September 1998.
  • Arsenal are looking to win their first four group stage games in a Europa League or Champions League campaign for just the second time, winning their first five in the 2005-06 Champions League.
  • Gabriel Martinelli has scored in both of his Europa League matches for Arsenal this season. The only player to score in each of his first three games in major European competition for the Gunners was Marouane Chamakh in 2010.

Odds correct as of 1500 GMT on 05/05/19

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