The penultimate game week of the Europa League sees Group A leaders Arsenal travel to Holland to take on PSV. It’s safe to say that Arteta and Arsenal have had a more than successful start to the season, topping this group and the Premier League table while their hosts are second in the Eredivisie and this group.
Although the reverse fixture a week ago was hardly a thriller (1-0), this game has the potential to be far better with higher stakes for both sides. With them both suffering poor results at the weekend, there is plenty of desire here for 3 points which should lead to an open game, always ideal for a bet builder.
PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal Bet Builder Tips
Arsenal Double Chance
The Gunners are favourites for this game, but the bookies have priced them highly to win perhaps due to them needing just 1 point from 2 games to qualify with the first round bye. However, Arteta has spoken about the importance of securing this bye and is expected to pick a strong side today leading me to take Arsenal to Win or Draw as the first leg of our bet builder.
2.2 goals per 90 on the road with an xG or 1.51 per game and 59% average possession, Arsenal don’t hold back on their travels. They have an established starting front 4 in Jesus, Martinelli, Odegaard and Saka but they can draw on the likes of Fabio Vieira and Smith-Rowe to rotate and still fit Arteta’s philosophy. We can expect a change or two, but Arsenal have the depth they have lacked for ages to compete on multiple fronts and stay healthy.
With just one defeat away from the Emirates, Arsenal are a force to be reckoned with. It was against Man United and with former red Ruud van Nistelrooy managing PSV there will be connections drawn to predict a PSV win. However, that’s about as much as we can say for PSV’s chances on Thursday night. I expect them to make it 3 defeats on the trot, but Arsenal double chance gives us the safety cushion of Arsenal failing to convert their dominance.
Cody Gakpo to have 1+ Shots on Target
So heavily linked with a move to England over summer, Cody Gakpo will have a point to prove when the cameras come to town for the Arsenal game. The Dutch left winger already has an astounding 28 goal contributions this season following his brace of assists at Groningen at the weekend. He also has 12 goals and 4 assists in European football over the past 4 seasons showing he is a top player outside of Holland too.
Obviously Gakpo is an elite winger, but he also has great shooting numbers which provide us with the next leg of our bet. Averaging 4.63 shots per game and 2.31 SOT per game, according to my cheat sheet, Gakpo has more SOT than any Arsenal player this year. In fact, he has registered at least 1 SOT in every home game but one this season.
PSV should strike Arsenal on the counter attack throughout the game as Arsenal are so possession hungry. The biggest pace mismatch going forward is Gakpo against either Tomiyasu or Ben White so progressive midfielders like Sangare will look to find him over the top. Gakpo doesn’t shy away from shooting (7 shots against Groningen on Saturday) and I expect him to hit the target tomorrow.
Both Teams to Score
These sides both rank second for BTTS % in their respective leagues which we can attribute to their expansive play styles and endless attacking talent. I have just mentioned Gakpo for PSV but the likes of Jesus and Martinelli have been immense this season, scoring regularly with some of the best link up play in the league. Arsenal have scored 11 in 6 PL away game while PSV have scored 22 in 5 home games in the Eredivisie.
PSV will want the 3 points here to keep their slim chances of the bye to the round of 16 alive and I don’t expect them to sit back like the reverse group game. The crowd in Holland will be up for this game and behind their side from the first whistle, sensing blood. It’s not an easy trip for Arsenal to make and I expect a defensive slip up or two for PSV to capitalise on. Meanwhile, I have no doubts about Arsenal’s goal with their underlying numbers and goal scoring numbers regardless which have seen them score in every away game so far this season.
Granit Xhaka to be Carded
Merely a season ago I could’ve picked this selection with little evidence because Granit Xhaka would predictably do something stupid across the 90 minutes. However, Arteta has revitalised the man he stripped of the captaincy by moving him to more of an 8 role. Xhaka has scored Arsenal’s last two goals and become a fan favourite due to his redemption arc.
Despite his drastic improvement, Xhaka has still been carded 4 times this season, including two Europa League yellows. One more sees him suspended which only further strengthens his case for a card on Thursday so he misses the final group game and not a knockout tie. Xhaka is essential in this team now and Arteta won’t want to be without his midfielder for their round of 16 opponents.
Xhaka will be actively looking for a card in the second half of this game but that’s not to say that he won’t be carded earlier in a more generic way. Averaging just 0.64 fouls per game for 4 cards, Xhaka knows his way into the referees book. I expect him to commit two or three fouls at PSV which should result in that booking we need to round off the bet.
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How to watch PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal in the Europa League?
📅 When is PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal? / Thursday, 27th October 2022, 17:45
🏟 Where is PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal? / Philips Stadion (Eindhoven)
📺 What TV channel is PSV Eindhoven v Arsenal on? / BT Sport 2