Arsenal vs Slavia Prague preview, team news, stats, kick-off time

Team news, stats, kick-off time ahead of Arsenal vs Slavia Prague in the Europa League on Thursday (kick-off 8pm).

Team news

Arsenal have been boosted by the return of Emile Smith Rowe, who is back in full training and available for selection at the Emirates after a recent thigh injury.

Bukayo Saka is also fit following a hamstring problem, while Granit Xhaka has overcome a bout of illness.

Kieran Tierney is out for between four to six weeks with a knee injury but will not require surgery, while Martin Odegaard is being assessed for an ankle complaint since being on international duty.

David Luiz has undergone a small procedure on his right knee and will miss the clash but should be back to full fitness in the next few weeks.








1:07

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann agrees with Gary Neville’s views that there is a ‘disconnect’ between some of the club’s players and Mikel Arteta

Slavia Prague‘s Ondrej Kudela has been provisionally suspended for the first leg as UEFA also opened disciplinary proceedings against Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara over their clash in the Europa League match last month.

The visitors are already depleted at centre-back with Simon Deli and David Hovorka also out, but Abdallah Sima is available despite a domestic ban.

Eighteen-year-old goalkeeper Matyas Vagner is set to start in goal despite being sent off after just 18 minutes at the weekend with first-choice Ondrej Kolar doubtful with a sinus fracture sustained against Rangers.

Arteta ambition



Mikel Arteta is hoping his side can take their fine north London derby performance into their crucial Europa League second-leg




0:58

Arteta retains the faith of the Arsenal board and is only part-way through his planned overhaul of the squad, says The Independent’s Miguel Delaney

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admitted he was “in shock” after Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League loss to Liverpool. The contest was so one-sided, debate turned quickly to whether Arsenal have improved under Arteta. The Spaniard’s win percentage in the league from his first 50 games in charge is only 42 per cent.

His predecessor Unai Emery, now in charge of fellow Europa League quarter-finalists Villarreal, had a 49 per cent win percentage from his 51 games there. Exciting youngsters like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have emerged, but Arteta needs to see signs of real improvement against Slavia Prague to silence some of the background noise.

Kudela absence casts shadow

Players from both teams reacted furiously after Ondrej Kudela spoke to Glen Kamara
Image:
Glen Kamara alleged that Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela racially abused him

Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela will not be at the Emirates. Kundela has been handed a provisional one-match ban after being accused of racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara last month.

Kudela faces a minimum 10-game ban if found guilty of insulting the “human dignity” of Kamara on the grounds of his skin colour and race, but his no-show in London has prevented Police Scotland from questioning the 34-year-old with regards to their criminal investigation against him.

How to follow



Gary Neville discusses Arsenal's lacklustre performance against Liverpool.




3:32

Gary Neville dissects Arsenal’s performance against Liverpool and claims there was a lack of effort in the middle of the pitch

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Opta stats



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2:56

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Arsenal
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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).



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