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Dec 12, 2019 at 5.55pm UK
Standard Liege
2-2
Arsenal
Bastien (47'), Amallah (69')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Lacazette (78'), Saka (81')

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Preview: Standard Liege vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Standard Liege vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Arsenal's trip to face Standard Liege in the Europa League on Thursday, including a prediction, team news and predicted lineups.
By | 1mo

Arsenal will look to build on their first win under interim coach Freddie Ljungberg when they travel to face Standard Liege in the Europa League on Thursday.

The Gunners just need to avoid defeat to qualify for the knockouts, while Standard must beat the North London side by a heavy margin and also rely on Vitoria beating Eintracht Frankfurt.


Match preview


Following a painful run that saw Arsenal fail to win nine games in a row, Ljungberg's men finally received some joy during a 3-1 win over West Ham United.

The manner in which Arsenal kicked into life after grabbing an equaliser, with Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang killing the game in the second half, was a sign of how this team relies so heavily on confidence.

Under Unai Emery, the Gunners attacked with good precision and intent, only to find themselves undone by the slightest piece of confusion at the back, consequently causing performances to flatline.

Ljungberg's main task, therefore, is to restore a sense of core stability to the heart of this Arsenal team - to create a stable platform from which to dominate games over 90 minutes.

They have an excellent chance to do exactly that when they travel to Belgium in their final group-stage clash of this season's Europa League.


In Standard, however, Arsenal find a team with nothing to lose, with the Belgians knowing that they must beat Thursday's opponents 5-0, which would bring them level on points with the Gunners and give them a superior head-to-head record having lost 4-0 in October.

Needless to say, this is a gargantuan task for the Belgian side, whose last 5-0 victory came back April against Anderlecht.

Before that, however, Michel Preud'homme's side must focus on not conceding, which is something that they have only managed once in their last eight games.

The manager, therefore, has something of a conundrum from a tactical point of view: should he adopt the expansive 4-3-3 system used in league games, or stick with the more conservative 4-5-1 formation and look to hit Arsenal on the break?

Either way, Standard supporters will head into this game knowing that their team has to throw absolutely everything at Arsenal, which should make for some spectacle.

Standard Liege Europa League form: WLLWD
Standard Liege form (all competitions): LWDWWD

Arsenal Europa League form: WWWDL
Arsenal form (all competitions): LDLDLW


Team News


Standard will make a last minute decision over the fitness of Orlando Sa, although Anthony Limbombe is definitely out due to a knee problem.

Noe Dussenne, sidelined since the summer with a knee ligament injury, is not expected back until February.

Arsenal look set to be without Kieran Tierney after the Scot picked up a shoulder injury against West Ham.

Rob Holding has an outside chance of returning for this game, while Dani Ceballos could return to action over the weekend.

Granit Xhaka looks set to miss this game due to concussion and Hector Bellerin is likely to be left out after suffering a hamstring issue against West Ham.

Standard Liege possible starting lineup:
Bodart; Vanheusden, Vojvoda, Bastien, Laifis; Gavory, M'Poku, Ammalah; Emond, Boljevic, Carcela-Gonzalez

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Chambers, Sokratis, Mustafi, Kolasinac; Guendouzi, Torreira; Saka, Willock, Nelson; Aubameyang



We say: Standard Liege 1-2 Arsenal

Following Monday's victory, Arsenal will head into this game feeling much better about themselves, and it seems likely that they will take advantage of a Standard side that has no options other than to attack from the first minute.


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool21201050143661
2Manchester CityMan City23153564273748
3Leicester CityLeicester22143547212645
4Chelsea2312383930939
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd2297636251134
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2381053430434
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd238962522333
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs238783631531
9Crystal Palace237972226-430
10Arsenal2361163032-229
11Everton2385102633-729
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2385102234-1229
13Southampton2384112942-1328
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2367102631-525
15Burnley2273122437-1324
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2265112634-823
17Watford2358102034-1423
18Aston Villa2364132944-1522
19Bournemouth2355132036-1620
20Norwich CityNorwich2345142345-2217
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