Arsenal FC

Arsenal vs Slavia Prague preview: How to watch on TV, live stream, team news & prediction

Max Parsons
Apr 7, 2021, 2:00 PM GMT+1
A first leg win in the round of 16 was enough to see Arsenal through to the quarter finals of the Europa League
A first leg win in the round of 16 was enough to see Arsenal through to the quarter finals of the Europa League | BSR Agency/Getty Images
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Mikel Arteta's Arsenal resume their European campaign on Thursday night as they host Slavia Prague in the first leg of their quarter final tie.

The visitors have not gone unnoticed during their European charge, knocking out Leicester City and Rangers in the two previous rounds of the tournament. They have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons though, with defender Ondrej Kudela reportedly racially abusing Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara in their round of 16 second leg.

Slavia's domestic campaign has been much more straightforward; the side have won 20 and drawn five of their 25 league games this season, scoring 70 goals and conceding just 15. Their phenomenal league form leaves them top by 14 points and, at this stage, certain champions.

The Gunners, on the other hand, have not had the best of seasons. Their 3-0 defeat to Liverpool last time out was their 12th defeat in the 30 Premier League games they have played so far. Arteta's side sit 10th in the table and are now ten points off the top four.

Arsenal have enjoyed a good Europa League run, however. The Gunners have won eight of their ten matches in this season's competition and, despite a 1-0 loss to Olympiakos in the second leg of their round of 16 tie, have scored a tournament-high 27 goals.

So, here's 90min's preview of what should be an intriguing encounter.

Where to watch Arsenal vs Slavia Prague

When is it? Thursday 8 April
What time is it played? 20:00 (GMT)
Where is it played? Emirates Stadium
TV Channel? BT Sport 1
Referee? Andreas Ekberg
Who's on VAR duty? Juan Martinez Munuera

Arsenal team news

Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney is a doubt for Thursday night | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Kieran Tierney was added to Arteta's injury after suffering going down with a knee issue. He joins David Luiz on the sidelines. Granit Xhaka is also likely to miss out through illness.

Despite failing late fitness tests ahead of their last game, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe should both be fit for the visit of Slavia Prague, and one of them will probably come in for the out-of-form Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Slavia Prague team news

Having been accused of racial abuse in the last round, Ondrej Kudela will miss this game through a provisional one-match ban enforced by UEFA.

Highly-rated 19-year-old Abdallah Sima made his Senegal debut during the international break and has scored four goals in the Europa League this season. He can return to the side having been serving a domestic ban. The same goes for 18-year old goalkeeper Matyas Vagner, who got sent off just 18 minutes into Sunday's 0-0 draw with Brno - he's expected to continue filling in for the injured Ondrej Kolar.

Arsenal vs Slavia Prague predicted lineups

Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Cedric; Partey, Ceballos; Saka, Odegaard, Pepe; Lacazette

Slavia Prague: Vagner; Bah, Zima, Hromada, Boril; Holes, Sevcik; Sima, Stanciu, Olayinka; Kuchta

Recent results

Arsenal

Arsenal 0-3 Liverpool - Premier League (3/4)
West Ham 3-3 Arsenal - Premier League (21/3)
Arsenal 0-1 Olympiakos - Europa League (18/3)
Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League (14/3)
Olympiakos 1-3 Arsenal - Europa League (11/3)

Slavia Prague

Brno 0-0 Slavia Prague - Czech First League (4/4)
Slavia Prague 4-0 Opava - Czech First League (21/3)
Rangers 0-2 Slavia Prague - Europa League (18/3)
Mlada Boleslav 0-3 Slavia Prague - Czech First League (14/3)
Slavia Prague 1-1 Rangers - Europa League (11/3)

Arsenal vs Slavia Prague prediction

It's not easy to pick out a favourite in this tie. With Slavia already having seen off Leicester and Rangers in the knockout rounds, they'll be confident of getting past an underwhelming Arsenal side. The Czech outfit have bags of goals in them, with free-scoring midfielders being key for them throughout the campaign.

Bearing their attacking prowess in mind, it will likely be a difficult day at the office for Arsenal's back line, but what will be even more vital is finding the creative touch to break down their opposition's stern defence. With the likes of Martin Odegaard, Nicolas Pepe and Saka on the field, the Gunners will expect to have enough quality to trouble the visitors and get a vital victory - but they will have to perform very well to overcome this Slavia side.

Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Slavia Prague

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