Arsenal vs Vorskla Preview: Recent Form, Key Battle, Team News, Predictions & More

​​Arsenal are set to get their Europa League campaign underway with a home tie against Ukrainian side Vorskla on Thursday.

Last season’s Europa League run was a bright point in an otherwise difficult final season for former manager Arsene Wenger. The Gunners managed to reach the semi-final stage before being knocked out by eventual winners Atletico Madrid.

Newcastle United v Arsenal FC - Premier League

New manager Unai Emery is something of a Europa League expert as the Spaniard managed to guide Sevilla to three titles in four seasons during his time with the Spanish club. It is unclear how seriously he will treat the competition with Arsenal, but it could prove to be the chance for the north London outfit to win their first piece of European silverware.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Thursday’s clash.


Recent Form

Arsenal started the 2018/19 season in the worst possible way by losing their first two matches at the hands of Manchester City and Chelsea. However, they quickly put those results aside and have since gone on to win their next three matches against West Ham, Cardiff and Newcastle.

Newcastle United v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Their opponents, Vorskla, have played eight matches in the Ukrainian Premier League so far this season, winning four and losing four. 

They currently sit in fifth place in the league behind the likes of Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kyiv.


Key Battle

Lucas Torreira vs Volodymyr Chesnakov

Lucas Torreira is yet to make a single start for Arsenal this season, but he has been one of the Gunner’s best performers so far this season during his cameo appearances off of the bench.

The Uruguayan midfielder was hugely impressive during his latest substitute appearance against Newcastle and ended up being instrumental to the win. If he can put in a decent performance on Thursday then there is every chance he will be nailing down a starting spot in the league too.

Cardiff City v Arsenal FC - Premier League

He’ll be coming up against Vorskla midfielder Volodymyr Chesnakov. The 29-year-old has spent his entire career with the Ukrainian side, making 295 appearances in the process. He is likely to sit as deep as possible to provide cover for his defence, so Torreira’s attacking tendencies will come under intense scrutiny.


Team News

Widespread changes are expected for Arsenal as they look to provide some of their most important first team stars a rest from competitive action. 

Bernd Leno is expected to get his first start for Arsenal, replacing Petr Cech, whilst the likes of Rob Holding, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Mohamed Elneny could all come in to get some much needed first team minutes. Alex Iwobi could also return to action after a spell out through illness.

Cardiff City v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Vorskla currently have three of their first team players out of action through injury. Volodymyr Odaryuk, Denys Vasin and Yuri Kolomoets will all miss out on the trip to the Emirates.


Predicted Lineups

Arsenal: Leno; Lichtsteiner, Holding, Mustafi, Monreal; Elneny, Guendouzi, Torreira; Iwobi, Welbeck, Aubameyang.

Vorskla: Shust; Artur, Dallku, Perduta; Chesnakov, Kobakhidze, Rebenok, Sharpar, Sklyar; Kulach, Careca.


Prediction

Unai Emery will be the first to admit that there is still a long way to go before Arsenal are the complete package. Defensive frailties are still present and at times their passing in midfield can lack urgency.

Newcastle United v Arsenal FC - Premier League

That being said, they should have more than enough to comfortably win this one, even if they do make a few tweaks to the starting XI. 

Vorskla will make it as difficult as possible for the Gunners, but Arsenal will be expected to get their Europa League campaign off to a comfortable start.

Predicted Scoreline: Arsenal 3-0 Vorskla

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‘Do Whatever it Takes’: Arsenal Fans Call for Gunners to Sign Crystal Palace Star Wilfried Zaha

The summer transfer window may have closed, but rumours are still rife. Many fans are already speculating about the potential future dealings of their clubs, and ​Arsenal fans are no different.

One player who seems to be eternally subject to transfer rumours is ​Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha. The Ivorian is widely viewed as one of the top players in the ​Premier League, and it seems fans of every club are keen to see Zaha leave the Eagles in favour of their preferred club.

Huddersfield Town v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Recently, ​Arsenal fans have been discussing a move for Zaha on Twitter and, unsurprisingly, it seems as though they are all desperate to see Zaha join their club. 

He may well have just signed a new contract with Crystal Palace, but Arsenal fans believe they still have what it takes to bring Zaha to the club.

The 25-year-old is known for his phenomenal dribbling abilities, as well as the capability to create both goals and assists from almost nothing. He is unquestionably Crystal Palace’s star man, and has regularly looked like the shining light in an otherwise disappointing side.

He was snapped up by ​Manchester United back in 2013, as Sir Alex Ferguson opted to make Zaha his final signing as manager of the club. However under David Moyes, things did not work out for Zaha, who was sent out on loan to both Crystal Palace and ​Cardiff City, before eventually being sold back to The Eagles in 2015.

Fortunately for Zaha, he was clearly not deterred by this struggle. His performances since he returned to Selhurst Park have been sublime, and he is regularly linked with a move to a top side.


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​​Clubs are seemingly always on the lookout for a new marquee signing, but often run the risk of bringing in a player from overseas who may struggle to adapt to the Premier League. Clearly, Zaha would not have this issue, as he has been a star in the league for several seasons, despite playing in a struggling Crystal Palace side.

The list of potential suitors for Zaha is enormous. ​Borussia Dortmund, ​Tottenham, ​Everton and ​Chelsea have all been linked with a move for the 25-year-old recently, but there was a brief break in the speculation when Zaha opted to renew his contract shortly after the transfer window closed.

However, the rumours linking Zaha with an exit quickly resurfaced. The Ivorian has netted three goals in four appearances this season, prompting fans to plead with their clubs to move for Zaha. Arsenal endured a tough start to the season, leaving fans desperate for a new attacking option, and it appears as though Zaha is close to the top of most fans’s wish lists.


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​​Any move for Zaha would certainly be an expensive one, but it appears as though his new contract has done nothing to deter any potential suitors.

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Mikel Arteta Opens Up on Missing Out on Arsenal Job & Highlights Future Ambitions

Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta insists he doesn’t regret missing out on the Arsenal coaching job during the summer.

The former Gunners midfielder was among those considered to replace Arsene Wenger in the wake of the Frenchman’s departure at the end of the season. However, Unai Emery was the one appointed.

Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League

Arteta was actually the favourite to fill the then-vacant post, yet the board changed their course late on and opted for Emery, as they ultimately decided that the 36-year-old’s lack of experience would pose too great a risk.

The assistant coach took up Champions League press duties in Pep Guardiola’s absence on Tuesday – the manager is suspended one match for abusing a match official during the Citizen’s second leg quarter final loss to Liverpool last season – claiming he has no hard feelings over losing out to Emery and is very happy where he is.


“In football, it’s so hard to predict things,” the Spaniard told reporters ahead of City‘s European opener against Lyon (H/T the Mirror).

“When things happen, you have to make decisions, sometimes you don’t have time to make them. The decision was made and I’m so happy the decision was made. I’m very privileged to be where I am.

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“I feel very fulfilled with the job I’m doing at the moment.

“If you ask me the question if, one day in the future, I will be a coach, the answer is probably ‘yes’.

“But I’m really happy where I am and really enjoying the moment I’m living. We have a fantastic momentum and there’s still a lot of room for this club to grow – so I am very pleased with where I am.”

Asked how close he came to taking over as boss at his former side, Arteta refused to be drawn in.

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“I didn’t talk on that two or three months ago and I didn’t make a statement,” he replied. “And I don’t think today is the day to talk about it. You all know something happened but the reality is I’m here and I’m very happy.”

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Stuart Pearce Believes Unai Emery Looking to Inject More Energy Into Arsenal Following Wenger Exit

​Former Nottingham Forest defender Stuart Pearce believes Unai Emery is looking to add more energy into an Arsenal side inherited from predecessor Arsene Wenger. 

The Frenchman spent 22 years at the north London club before leaving the club at the end of last season, developing a side known for their brand of passing footbal. Emery’s task now he has taken over is to revamp things a little and  implement his style on the squad.

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And after suffering a difficult start to his reign at the Emirates, Emery has won his last three ​Premier League games, with Pearce noting the changes the Spaniard is looking to make while keeping some aspects of Wenger’s play.

Speaking on Sky Sports News, ​as quoted by The Express, he said: ” There’s an evolvement of Arsenal as a football team. Arsenal have played in such a set way for so long, I think Arsenal have to find a slightly different way.

“Take all the good things from the Arsene Wenger era, looking after the ball, and prodding and probing, and maybe put a bit more energy into their play a little bit. I think that’s what he’s looking for.”

One man who has impressed at ​Arsenal since arriving in the summer, despite failing to start a game as of yet, is Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira.

The £26.4m signing has come off the bench in all five ​Premier League games so far, with the ​22-year-old catching the eye of Emery in the recent win against Newcastle, and Pearce thinks Torreira can be the man to help inject the desired energy into the side.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League

Pearce continued, stating: “He wants to go forward maybe a bit more regularly than some of their other players. He looks for that forward pass.”

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Unai Emery Set to Hand Lucas Torreira First Arsenal Start in Europa League Opener

​Arsenal manager Unai Emery is ready to final hand summer signing Lucas Torreira his first start for the club in their Europa League opener against Vorskla Poltava on Thursday.

Having arrived in north London for an estimated £26.4m, the 22-year-old is yet to start a game for the Gunners, instead coming off the bench in all five Premier League games so far, ​with his most recent cameo in the win against Newcastle catching the eye of Emery. 

Cardiff City v Arsenal FC - Premier League

As a result, the ​Daily Mail are reporting that Torreira will make his full debut for the club in the Europa League, as ​Arsenal look to start their Group E campaign with a win.

After an impressive World Cup for Uruguay, many expected the combative midfielder to slot straight into Arsenal’s midfield, but he has instead found starts difficult to come by in England.

When called upon however, the former Sampdoria man has impressed, and will hope to take advantage of the opportunity against the Ukrainian side in order to become a permanent fixture in the side. 

Torreira could be one of three summer signings making their full debut for the club, as goalkeeper Bernd Leno and full back Stephan Lichtsteiner are also expected to start at the Emirates, with Emery looking to rotate his side ahead of a ​Premier League clash against ​Everton. 

Cardiff City v Arsenal FC - Premier League

After a difficult start to the season, losing their opening two games, Arsenal have won their last three league games as Emery continues to implement his ideas onto his squad.

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