Dundalk vs Arsenal
Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Thursday, 10-12-2020 @8:55pm
Ref: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Usually the atmosphere before a match where an Irish football team faces an English team is very tense. That is not going to be the case this Thursday in Dublin where Dundalk welcomes Arsenal.
Hosts are without any chance to fight for Europa League playoffs, while the Gunners have 100% win rate and secured top position.
It’s very realistic to see Mikel Arteta combine the starting lineup a lot and give some rest to key players for upcoming EPL battles.
Dundalk interim manager Filippo Giovagnoli will be unable to call upon the services of attacker Patrick Hoban, who is out with an injury. Other than that, there are no known issues.
Meanwhile, Arsenal will be without midfielder Thomas Partey and young Brazilian attacker Gabriel Martinelli, who are both nursing injuries. Veteran centre-back David Luiz is a doubt to feature.
Dundalk have failed to pose a threat to Arsenal in the 2nd round in match played in London. Gunners were confident and took an easy 3-0 win thanks to the goals of Nketiah, Willock and Pepe.
Irish champions have faced English teams five times in the past, lost four of the duels and only avoided loss once. It happened against Tottenham in 1981 (1-1 FT).
Leicester City vs AEK Athens
King Power Stadium, Leicestershire
Thursday, 10-12-2020 @11pm
Ref: Lawrence Visser (BEL)
Leicester was caught by surprise in the previous two EL clashes that they have ended up with a winless streak in that period, including a 1-0 loss on the road against Zorya last time out.
However, the Foxes have already qualified for the playoffs this season in the tournament.
Having won only one of their five appearances in the Europa League group fixtures this term, AEK Athens doesn’t pose a huge threat to the home team.
They are on a two-game losing streak, following a 2-4 loss at home against Braga in the previous EL encounter.
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers will be without the services of Portuguese right-back Ricardo Pereira, centre-back Caglar Soyuncu and Ghana international Daniel Amartey, who are all out injured. Belgian full-back Timothy Castagne is a doubt.
Meanwhile, AEK Athens have no known injury issues and manager Massimo Carrera is expected to have a fully-fit squad at his disposal.
Their previous encounter in 2020 EL gave a 1-2 away win for the Foxes. The host has not played against a club from their opponents’ country. The visitor has lost their recent four meetings with any other English clubs. Athens has scored no goals in their last two EL clashes with other English teams.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Antwap
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
Thursday, 10-12-2020 @11pm
Ref: Jesus Gil (SPA)
These two teams have already ensured their progression to the knockouts, and now all that remains to be seen is which of the two will be adjudged as the group champions.
It’s of importance, since the first-placed team will be allotted an easier opponent in the Round of 32.
Surprisingly, Spurs are placed second in the table, and need a win this Thursday to climb to the top, while Ivan Leko’s men could secure the first place with a draw.
The hosts are the toppers of the most competitive league in Europe, while their counterparts come from the comparatively weaker Belgian top flight. Moreover, Spurs are also at home, and are managed by the legendary Jose Mourinho.
Tanguy Ndombele didn’t feature against Arsenal on Sunday, and remains doubtful for this game. Erik Lamela is injured and will not feature. In addition, Joe Rodon is unavailable for the Europa League, having not been registered in the Tottenham Hotspur squad for the competition. Despite this being a top-of-the-table clash in Group J, Mourinho is unlikely to risk starting top regulars like Kane and Son in the midst of what is a busy period in the Premier League.
For Antwerp, midfielder Sander Coopman is ruled out with an injury.
The Belgians had won the reverse fixture, with a 1-0 scorecard at home. This has been the only h2h meeting till now. Mourinho’s men were unbeaten in six of their previous ten overall match-ups against other Belgian rivals. Leko’s men last won against any other English club back in 1975.
The other Europa League games on Thursday
-Young Boys vs CFR Cluj @8:55pm
-CSKA Sofia vs AS Roma @8:55pm
-Rapid Wein vs Molde @8:55pm
-Bayer Leverkusen vs Slavia Praha @8:55pm
-Hapoel Be’er Sheva vs Nice @8:55pm
-Standard Liege vs Benfica @8:55pm
-Lech Poznan vs Rangers @8:55pm
-PSV vs Omonia Nicosia @8:55pm
-PAOK vs Granada @8:55pm
-Napoli vs Real Sociedad @8:55pm
-Rijeka vs AZ Alkmaar @8:55pm
-Sporting Braga vs Zorya @11pm
-Celtiv vs Lille @11pm
-Sparta Praha vs AC Milan @11pm
-Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Sivasspor @11pm
-Villarreal vs Qarabag *postponed*
-Ludogorates vs LASK @11pm
-Dinamo Zagreb vs CSKA Moscow @11pm
-Wolfsberger vs Feyernoord @11pm
-Hoffenheim vs Gent @11pm
-Slovan Liberec vs Crvena Zvezda @11pm