Arsenal begin their UEFA Europa League campaign with a trip to Switzerland, where they will face Swiss champions FC Zurich. The Gunners have made an unbeaten start to the season by winning their first five English Premier League matches and are sitting at the top of the table after six games. Their opponents have struggled in the Swiss League and are just one position above the last spot in the table.
FC Zurich are yet to register a win in the league this season. They have drawn two and lost five of their seven matches. FC Zurich failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League by losing the qualifier. They had to play two rounds for qualification for the Europa League. In these two qualification rounds, FC Zurich scored 12 goals in six games with an average xG rate of 1.68. Their defence conceded six goals.
Arsenal, on the other hand, qualified automatically after finishing fifth last season. They made a 100% start to the season but suffered their first loss last weekend at the hands of Manchester United. The Gunners have scored 14 goals with an average xG rate of 2.14. Their defence has conceded seven goals with a low xGA rate of 0.76.
We take a look at some of the stats that could predict the outcome of the match.
FC Zurich’s game style
FC Zurich play in a three-at-the-back formation. The above viz shows that the two wing-backs play an attacking line and like to make forward runs. Their wide players like to cut inside and allow these wing-backs to make forward runs. The manager also prefers his side with two strikers at the top. He did it in their last qualification match by substituting two strikers in the match.
Arsenal’s game style
Arsenal have played in a 4-2-3-1 formation under Mikel Arteta. They have followed a similar kind of gameplay under the Spanish manager. The left-back makes more runs to dangerous areas, and the right-back plays a more defensive role. One of the midfielders plays a holding role and the other operates in a box-to-box role. Bukayo Saka takes a more advanced position, and Martin Ødegaard drifts to the right side.
FC Zurich averaged 30.67 positional attacks in the qualification round. The team’s shot average was 12.67 with an accuracy rate of 42.1%. Most of the attacks are created from the centre. FC Zurich are clinical with their finishing, but it won’t be easy for them to beat Arsenal’s defence.
Arsenal create a lot of chances from the flanks, and in some matches, the focal point is the centre. The Gunners average 32.67 positional attacks in the English Premier League. They attempt 15.17 shots per match with an accuracy rate of 37.4%. Arsenal have been very effective with their attacks. They have even made a comeback in some of the matches. They will be a threat in the attack.
FC Zurich will be without Ilan Sauter for this match. There are no other injury concerns for the manager.
Arsenal will be without Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny for this match. There is another injury concern as Emile Smith-Rowe is ruled out after getting injured against Manchester United last weekend.
Arsenal have been the in-form team and will be the favourites to win the match. The Gunners are a threat in attack and their defence has also improved. They are also one of the favourites to win the competition. FC Zurich will look for an upset and get at least a point from this game.
Visuals via Wyscout