Arsenal vs Vitoria preview | Latest team news, Ozil to start + prediction

By on October 24, 2019

mesut ozil arsenal 2018

Arsenal continue their Europa League campaign when we take on Vitoria SC at the Emirates this evening.

The days leading up to the game have been dominated by talk surrounding the future of Unai Emery as a growing number of supporters no longer feel he’s the right man to take Arsenal forward.

Results have been inconsistent this season but performances have generally been below par and we put-in another abject display during Monday night’s 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Emery came out fighting in his press conference yesterday but it’s clear the boss is feeling the pressure so he’ll be thankful we’ve got a very winnable Europa League game this evening.

Arsenal’s form in Europe has been surprisingly good and many fans, myself included, have enjoyed watching the second string on a Thursday night far more than the first team at the weekend.

We’ve already beaten Eintracht Frankfurt and Standard Liege with an aggregate score of 7-0 so another win over bottom side Vitoria tonight would see Arsenal put one foot in the knockout stages.

Team news

We have no fresh injury concerns so Reiss Nelson is the only absentee with the attacker still nursing a knee injury. Alexandre Lacazette made his comeback from an ankle injury with a substitute appearance on Monday night so he should start this evening.

Emile Smith Rowe is back in contention after recovering from concussion while the likes of Emi Martinez, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Torreira, Gabriel Martinelli and Mesut Ozil are all expected to feature as Emery rotates his team.

Preferred line-up

I thought it was a huge error from Emery not to start Kieran Tierney on Monday night while I’d also have brought in Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin to the back four. The trio would make a massive difference to the Arsenal defence so hopefully we see them impress tonight and give Emery a decision to make against Palace on Sunday.

I also think it’s time to bring Ozil back into the fold. We don’t know all the facts about what’s going on behind the scenes but the one thing that is crystal clear is Arsenal need more creativity in the team and Ozil is wasted sitting on his sofa at home.

This would be my line-up tonight – and I’d actually start at least five of them against Palace at the weekend:

football formations

Predicted score

I look forward to watching the Europa League games and the team above is a lot more exciting than what we saw against Sheffield United on Monday. Hopefully we see a more energetic, attacking display from Arsenal tonight and I fully expect us to seal a comfortable victory over the Portuguese outfit.

We have won our last six European games at the Emirates and Vitoria are winless in their last seven away games in the Europa League so we should be confident of making it three wins from three games in Group F. I’m backing the boys to ease to a 3-0 win.

Arsenal 3-0 Vitoria