After grabbing second place in Group L of the Europa League, BATE Borisov now face Group E winners Arsenal.
BATE Borisov v Arsenal
Thursday 14th February, 17:55
Currently, BATE Borisov lead the Belarusian Premier League by eleven clear points. They boast an unbeaten home run of fifteen matches. The Belarusian side have blown away their domestic opposition this season whilst playing at home, scoring over two goals per game (2.03), and only failing to score in one match when playing in front of their home support. The side have even reduced their opponents to less than a goal per game (0.60) when playing at home. In the league they are behemoths, but in Europe their stats take a turn for the worse.
In six matches played at home in Europe, including Champions League qualifying rounds, BATE have won only once. The win coming against MOL Vidi in the group stage of the Europa League. As well as this, BATE Borisov’s scoring form at home seems to dry up when playing in European competitions. In six home matches BATE have managed less than a goal per game (0.83), however it’s their habit of losing goals in the Europa League and Champions League that is a cause for concern. In the six home matches they have played, BATE have conceded nine goals which on average equates to at least 1.50 goals conceded per game. A positive stat that supports BATE Borisov’s chances in this one is that, in European competitions, the Belarusian side have only failed to score at home on one occasion, in a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.
A main issue that, BATE head coach, Alyaksey Baha suffers is not being able to translate his side’s goals in the league into goals in the Europa League. The main reason for this being his side’s lack of a main goal scorer in the Europa League. BATE Borisov’s top goal scorer in the Europa League, with three goals, is Nikolai Signevich, who has now joined, Hungarian side, Ferencvaros. In the League, BATE’s top goal scorer is the striker Maksim Skavysh who has eleven goals this term. However the striker has only managed a single goal in the Europa League this year.
Arsenal’s away form this season has been questionable in the league so far. However the form seems to undergo massive improvements when playing in the Europa League. The North London side have lost five and drew three in thirteen Premier League matches away from home this season. During the season, home and away they have conceded thirty-seven goals which is the third highest conceded in the top half of the Premier League. Another contributing factor to Arsenal’s poor away form is that on average they concede more than they score, scoring only 1.92 goals per game but conceding 2.00 goals per game.
However Arsenal’s away form seems to undergo massive improvements when playing in the Europa League. All three of Arsenal’s away games have seen them pick up win-to-nil victories in each of the games. As well as that they have scored seven in those three away matches, which is on average 2.33 goals per game. In Europa League home and away games, Arsenal have conceded only two goals in six matches, with both goals coming in the one game, in a 4-2 win over Vorskla Poltava.
The only real cause for issue for Unai Emery in this one is his growing injury list, especially where defenders are concerned. Arsenal will likely be without key defenders; Sokratis, Holding and Bellerin for the match.
BATE have been busy in the January transfer window. They let go of the striker, Signevich to Ferencvaros and brought in Nemanja Milic from Red Star Belgrade, Dmitry Bessmertny from FC Minsk and the Serbian striker, Bojan Dubajic from FK Gorodeya. Arsenal fans may also see a familiar face come up against them as their former player, Aliaksandr Hleb, who made eighty-nine appearances for the Gunners between the years 2005 to 2008, plays for the Belarusian side. BATE don’t have any injury concerns going into the game with Arsenal.
Unai Emery’s injury list may be the only thing posing him a cause for concern going into this match. Defensively, Arsenal will be without Sokratis, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin due to injury. As well as this they will possibly be without Aubameyang and Ozil who were both missing in Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Huddersfield due to illness.
Arsenal go into the Europa League tie in Belarus as 4/11 favourites to win the match. BATE are priced at 13/2 to get a shock win over the North London side. I agree with the bookies at Arsenal will come away with a win in Belarus, however to add more value to a bet based around an Arsenal win, you would need to consider additional markets.
For example, Arsenal to win to nil is priced at 7/5. This market would prove valuable as, Arsenal have rarely conceded away from home in the Europa League this season. The goal market is another avenue to explore, in order to add value to your bet. Bookies would give you a price of 6/10 for over 2.5 goals. However BATE have not been known for scoring multiple goals at home in the Europa League which means all the pressure would be on Arsenal to produce at least three goals, for the bet to come good.
Coupling an Arsenal win with over 1.5 goals being scored in the match would be a more suitable bet. Arsenal have averaged two goals per game in the away matches they have played in the Europa League. Bookies would give a price of 8/13 for Arsenal to win and over 1.5 goals to be scored in the game. Though it doesn’t offer much value on its own as a single, it would be a worthwhile bet as part of an accumulator.
Arsenal to win to nil (7/5)
Arsenal to win and over 1.5 goals (8/13)