Tomorrow we play BATE Borisov at home in the Europa League.
After the absolute shocker of the first leg, which resulted in a 1-0 defeat, Arsenal face an uphill struggle but should still progress in the competition.
One of the delights of the Europa League has been playing a lot of teams who we have not played before, opening up corners of Europe we have never visited. So it was disappointing to be drawn against BATE Borisov for the 2nd time in seasons. Especially after a lot of people who went out to Minsk last season returned saying it was not a great a Euro Away.
Whilst it is an early kick off – 17:55 – the fact it is half term and tickets were as cheap as £5.25 for Junior Gunners should mean it is a capacity crowd with loads of people taking their children.
Then again, we know how some fans moan about ticket prices, but only want to take their kids to the big games. They do not want to do BATE at home in the Europa League or a League Cup game against Blackpool. They only want to go to the big games.
Tomorrow would be an ideal time to take the family (even if it meant sneaking off work an hour early). Sadly some of our fans will turn down the opportunity, only to moan about £64 tickets against Manchester United.
Maybe we should just scrap categorising of tickets, have just Cat B for everyone, then create home credits system rewarding fans who go to BATE Borisov or Blackpool, giving them priority over fans who have not been to a game all season but then want to go to Manchester United?
Rant over. On to the 10 reasons why Arsenal will beat BATE Borisov.
- Last season we beat BATE 4 – 2 away and 6 – 0 at home; last weeks 1-0 defeat was a freak result
- In that home game, the line up read: Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Holding, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Coquelin, Walcott, Wilshere, Welbeck, Giroud
- The team tomorrow should be stronger
- BATE Borisov’s have played just once in 2019
- Colchester is not exactly the best place for pre-game preparations
- With their next domestic game being the Belarusian Super Cup final on 02/03/2019, this is basically a pre-season friendly for them
- Online bookmakers have Arsenal as 1/7 favourites
- This is the first time BATE Borisov have made it into the Round of 32 since 2010/11
- Since then, their record in the Europa League reads P 19 W 5 D 5 L 9
- BATE stands for Borisov Automobile and Tractor Electronics. We are literally playing a team of farmers