Ostersunds FK v Arsenal Betting Tips & Preview – Thursday 15th February 2018

Ostersunds FK and Arsenal will go head-to-head for the first ever time on Thursday night as the pair meet in the Jamtkraft Arena for a UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie. The Gunners may head to Sweden in patchy form, but Arsene Wenger’s men are the overwhelming favourites to see off the Swedish side over two legs, starting with a first-leg win away from home on Thursday evening.

However, Ostersunds, who have done a remarkable job to get this far, will be doing their best to cause an almighty upset against one of Europe’s most recognised sides. Nevertheless, the Premier League team are 1/12 to qualify to the last 16. Can the hosts make life difficult for Arsenal, or will the Gunners return to the Emirates Stadium with a handsome lead?

Top Tips

Arsenal to Win to Nil @ 6/5

Arsenal to Win -1 @ 6/5

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Ostersunds Form

Ostersunds are certainly fresh having played just three games of competitive football since their domestic season ended in November. The Swedish side, who finished fifth in the Allsvenskan last term, don’t kick off their new league season until April. Ostersunds, managed by Englishman Graham Potter, lost just once at home in their entire 2017 campaign.

Ostersunds booked their place in this year’s Europa League by winning the 2016-17 Svenska Cup, beating Norrkoping 4-1 in the final. The Allsvenskan outfit won three of their six Europa League group games to finish runners-up to Athletic Bilbao in Group J. Along the way, Potter’s men beat Zorya Luhansk (twice) and Hertha Berlin. A 1-0 loss at Bilbao was their only defeat of the group stage. After such a fine campaign so far, can Ostersunds pull off a huge shock on their own patch this Thursday?

MatchDateScoreResult
Ostersunds v Trelleborgs 9th February 2018 3-0 Win
Hertha Berlin v Ostersunds 7th December 2018 1-1 Draw
Ostersunds v Zorya 23rd November 2017 2-0 Win

Arsenal Form

Arsenal head into this one having lost the north London derby to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium last Saturday. In fact, the Gunners travel to Sweden having lost four of their last eight in all competitions. Following last weekend’s defeat, Wenger’s men are now seven points adrift of a top four spot, meaning winning the Europa League may be their best chance of returning to the UEFA Champions League next season.

To be fair to the Londoners, they eased through to the last 32 of the Europa League. In a group with Red Star Belgrade, Cologne and BATE Borisov, Arsenal won four, drew one and lost one to win Group H by four points. In the process, the Gunners scored 14 times and let in four goals. Despite their poor domestic form, Arsenal are still one of the favourites to lift this trophy in the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in May.

MatchDateScoreResult
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal 10th February 2018 1-0 Loss
Arsenal v Everton 3rd February 2018 5-1 Win
Swansea City v Arsenal 30th January 2018 3-1 Loss

Head to Head Stats

Ostersunds, who were only formed in 1996, have never played Arsenal in any competition.

Injuries & Suspensions

Potter has a full-strength side at his disposal with no injuries or suspensions. Aaron Ramsey, who tweaked his groin recently, is likely to miss the trip to Sweden for Arsenal. Meanwhile, Santi Cazorla is still recovering from a long-term Achilles tendon injury.

Arsenal

  • Aaron Ramsey - Likely to miss the trip due to a groin injury
  • Santi Cazorla - Out with an Achilles tendon injury

Betting Tips

Arsenal, who finished fifth last season, look as though they are going to end their campaign outside of the top four again this time around. Although they still have time, last weekend’s loss to Tottenham has made the task even tougher. Wenger has vowed to play a strong side in Sweden, which makes perfect sense considering they are seven points adrift of fourth place. The Europa League and EFL Cup final will take priority now.

Ostersunds have already caused one or two problems this season, and they will relish the prospect of playing Arsenal, who were Champions League finalists 12 years ago. The club have come a long way in 20 years, with this their biggest game to date.

Arsenal to Win to Nil

Arsenal will be hoping to do a professional job in Sweden, making the second leg at the Emirates as straightforward as possible. Ostersunds will want to keep the Gunners at bay, but with Arsenal’s big guns expected to start, that will certainly be easier said than done. Wenger’s defence should be good enough to prevent the hosts from scoring on Thursday, so we’re backing Arsenal to win to nil (6/5) in the Jamtkraft Arena.

Arsenal to Win -1

The Gunners have won by more than one goal 11 times this term, including on three occasions in the Europa League. In reality, Arsenal should dominate in Sweden, so backing them to win by a decent margin could be the way to go in this one. We fancy the 13-time English champions to win with a -1 goal handicap at the strong odds of 6/5.

Alexandre Lacazette to Score First

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ineligible to play for Arsenal in the Europa League, the Gunners will be turning to Alexandre Lacazette to get the goals. The Frenchman has struggled to make an impact since arriving at the Emirates, scoring just nine times for his new club. However, we fancy the striker to make the most of his opportunity on Thursday, so have a punt him to score first at 15/4.

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