Arsenal face Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League matchday four on Wednesday. The Gunners sit top of Group B with six points and won the reverse fixture a week ago. The visitors have drawn their last four La Liga matches and are winless in three matches in Europe so far.
The Gunners started the season with seven wins and two draws in nine matches. A 2-1 loss at Lens on matchday two of the Champions League was a surprise. They scored late to beat Man City 1-0 at home a few days later to end a 12-match losing streak against those opponents. A 2-2 draw at Chelsea followed as they came from 2-0 down to rescue a point in a disappointing performance.
A 2-1 win away at Sevilla on matchday three was a big step towards qualification, before making light work of Sheffield United at home in a 5-0 win. Surprisingly, two defeats have followed. A strong XI lost 3-1 at West Ham in the Carabao Cup last Wednesday. On Sunday, they were beaten 1-0 at Newcastle with the club stating a VAR error for the Magpies’ winner.
Arsenal Team News
Mikel Arteta has quite a few injury problems for this match. Gabriel Jesus is absent up front so Eddie Ntetiah will start. Jurrien Timber remains out long-term and Thomas Partey is absent in midfield, as is Emile Smith Rowe.
Martin Odegaard played no part at Newcastle on Sunday and is very doubtful. Jorginho or Fabio Vieira could take his place alongside Declan Rice and Kai Havertz in midfield. Oleksandr Zinchenko may earn a recall at left back.
A win here and the Gunners have one foot in the Knockout Rounds. That would allow them to focus more on the league.
Arteta will therefore be very eager to take all three points and won’t see a draw as a good result.
Sevilla sacked their coach after three successive La Liga defeats to start the season. Since then, it’s just two losses in 12 matches but they’ve become draw specialists with seven stalemates during that steak. Their Champions League campaign began with a 1-1 home draw vs Lens and then a 2-2 draw at PSV.
The latter result has preceded four successive draws in La Liga and a 2-1 home loss to Arsenal in Europe. A comeback from 2-0 down at Cadiz to draw 2-2 followed four days later. After winning 3-0 in the Copa Del Rey at lower league Quintanar, they played out a 1-1 result at struggling Celta Vigo on Saturday despite playing the final 25 minutes versus ten men.
Sevilla Team News
Coach Diego Carlos has a few injury worries to contend with. Central defenders Sergio Ramos and Marcao are ruled out with injuries and goalkeeper Alfonso Pastor is absent. Defensive midfielder Fernando also missed the last game and will play no part.
Youssef En-Nesyri scored off the bench over the weekend and will return to lead the line. Adria Pedrosa may replace Marcos Acuna at left back whilst Dodi Lukebakio is pushing for a start down the right flank.
Sevilla have just two points in the group and need something from this game ahead of a home game against PSV and a trip to Lens.
They won’t play too open of a game against Arsenal. They will use a mid-block and look to transition quickly when winning the ball.
Arsenal have won 5 of their 7 home matches this season (2 draws)
Arsenal have scored 2+ goals in 6 of their last 7 home matches
Arsenal won the last meeting between these sides 2-1
Sevilla have won just once in 10 Champions League matches (5 losses)
Sevilla have conceded 2+ goals in 3 of their last 4 away matches
Even without Odegaard, Arsenal should have too much for Sevilla once again. Backing the Gunners on the handicap looks a good tip. Nketiah is a good bet to score in this one.