Preview: Arsenal vs Ostersunds

Arsenal are expected to ease past Ostersunds in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday, after a dominant win away from home.

Europa League
22 February 2018
Round of 32, second leg
Kick-off: 22H05 (GMT+2)
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Referee: I. Kruzliak
Assistants: B. Hancko, M. Balko
Fourth official: F. Ferenc

Head-to-head summary:


Arsenal 1 1 0 0
Ostersunds 1 0 0 1

Previous encounter:

Ostersunds 0-3 Arsenal 15/02/18 (Europa League)

Arsenal goalscorers: N. Monreal (13′), S. Papagiannopoulos (og 24′), M. Ozil (58′)

Players to watch:

Arsenal could give the likes of striker Edward Nketiah a start after the 18-year-old came off the bench to replace Danny Welbeck in the first leg. Nketiah has made seven appearances for the Gunners this season, scoring two goals.

Great win away from home! Nice to get more minutes in the @europaleague ??

A post shared by Eddie Nketiah (@eddienketiah) on

Ostersunds will be hoping striker Saman Ghoddos will be able to find the back of the net at the Emirates Stadium. The Iran international has scored two goals in seven Europa League appearances this season, and provided one assist.

Team form and manager quotes:

The Gunners thrashed Ostersunds 3-0 in the first leg at the Jamtkraft Arena thanks to goals from Nacho Monreal, Mesut Ozil and an own goal from Sotirios Papagiannopoulos.

Arsene Wenger’s side have been inconsistent recently, losing two of their last four games, away at Swansea City and Tottenham, but have also enjoyed a week’s rest after beating Ostersunds on February 15.

Arsenal are expected to rest first-team regulars against the Swedish visitors. When asked about resting players, Wenger told the press: “I always try to find the team who can win the next game. The team has a good opportunity at home in front of our fans. There’s still a lot at stake for us.

“What is absolutely vital is we go into the game with a good focus to win it. It’s a good opportunity for the players to show they have the quality to compete at this level.”

Meanwhile, Ostersunds also come into the second-leg clash on the back of the 3-0 result last week. The Swedish outfit’s last competitive game prior to the defeat was a 3-0 win over Trelleborg in the Swedish Cup.

The Swedish domestic season is yet to get underway this year. Ostersunds will kick off their Allsvenskan campaign on April 1 when they host Djurgarden. Last season, the team finished fifth in the league, 14 points adrift champions Malmo.

Team news:

Arsenal are only missing Alexandre Lacazette and Santi Cazorla for the game.

Ostersunds are expected to be without Johan Bertilsson and Smajl Suljevic due to injury.