FC ZURICH VS ARSENAL PREVIEW: PROBABLE LINEUPS | PREDICTION | TACTICS | TEAM NEWS & KEY STATS
Dropping down to Europe’s second-tier competition was not in the cards for FC Zurich, whose manager Franco Zoda was unable to lead the team to the first flight. The Swiss were defeated 5-4 on aggregate by Azerbaijan’s Qarabag in the qualifying stage.
After the setback, Zurich had to work hard to overcome teams like Linfield and Hearts in order to qualify for the Europa League group stages. The team will compete in this tournament for the sixth time in 11 years, trying to get to the final stages.
They had previously been ousted in the group rounds of the tournament, but they broke the curse by reaching the final 32 in the 2018-19 season.
Zoda will be wanting to go much farther ahead than that, and will be looking to get off to a strong start against Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta suffered his first defeat of the season after winning the first five games of the season. A journey to Old Trafford has always been difficult for Arsenal, and despite the VAR controversy and the Gunners being the superior team, they were unable to win.
Arteta will be hopeful that the setback was a fluke and that his squad can get back on track before returning to Europe. The Gunners have been missing from continental duty, but they are looking forward to their first journey away from England for competitive play in a long time.
Arteta will seek to finish as group champions and expect an immediate response from his team. On paper, Zurich appears to be a simple opponent, but in the past, particularly in the Europa League, the Gunners have struggled in such games.
In such case, Aiyegun Tosin may be Zurich’s attacking danger, while Fabian Rohner would give support for the attacking-third activity. Meanwhile, Karol Mets, who was substituted at halfway in Zurich’s previous game, might return to the defense.
Zoda’s system of a back three and a midfield-five will be used. In midfield, Antonio Maschesano and Ole Selnaes will line up on either side of Blerim Dzemaili. Adrian Guerrero and Nikola Boranijasevic will play on the wings.
Tosin and Donis Avdijaj are the chosen options to lead the offensive line, as they will be trying to shake up Arsenal’s powerful defense this season.
Potential Lineup (3-5-2) Boranijasevic, Selnaes, Dzemaili, Marchesano, Guerrero; Tosin, Avdijaj
Arteta is anticipated to make many changes to his starting lineup for the midweek European match. After starting most games with known names, the manager will employ several of his peripheral players. Arsenal has added young players such as Matt Smith and Marquinhos to their squad, albeit only one of them is likely to start.
💥 EN14 x GJ9 💥@eddienketiah9 🤝 @gabrieljesus9 pic.twitter.com/VVuhBZ2tdp
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 7, 2022
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Arteta’s key goal is to control the midfield position, which he presently lacks. Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are both injured, with the latter projected to be out for several months due to a hamstring injury. The Ghanaian is on the mend, but he will not be able to compete in Zurich.
Both Sambi Lokonga and Granit Xhaka are available, but Arteta is expected to start the Belgian and rest the Swiss star. Meanwhile, Cedric was allegedly hurt during training, casting doubt on his participation. Takehiro Tomiyasu will start at right back, with Matt Turner replacing Aaron Ramsdale in goal.
Rob Holding will make his season debut as center back alongside Gabriel Magalhaes. Kieran Tierney will take over as left back for Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Fabio Vieira, with Martin Odegaard and Lokonga, might get his first start in midfield. Eddie Nketiah will almost certainly replace Gabriel Jesus up front, with Bukayo Saka set to start on the right. Emile Smith-Rowe is questionable after suffering an injury during the Manchester United game. Summer signing Marquinhos may possibly make his debut in lieu of Gabriel Martinelli.
Possible lineup (4-3-3) – Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Odegaard, Lokonga, Vieira; Saka, Nketiah, Marquinhos
- FC Zurich has won their previous four Europa League games, including qualifications.
- FC Zurich has been in five of the previous eleven Europa Leagues.
- This season, Arsenal has won 5 of their past 6 games.
- This will be Arsenal’s first competitive match against FC Zurich.
- In European tournaments, Arsenal has won six of six games against Swiss teams.
Player to Watch
It’s been perplexing to see Fabio Vieira play for the first time in the latter moments of Manchester United’s loss. The Portuguese midfielder was purchased for more than 30 million pounds in the summer, and many Arsenal supporters have been waiting for him to make his debut.
The midfielder gave promising glimpses of what was to come in his cameo against Manchester United. He’ll be the one to watch as Arsenal makes their European debut against Zurich.
FC Zurich 0-2 Arsenal
The Gunners return to the tournament after a year away with increased vigor and firepower. They may not have the intimidating Jesus leading the line, but Nketiah is no pushover, and the striker will be eager to open his account this season.
Furthermore, the Gunners are expected to have regular starters such as Saka and Odegaard on their side, in addition to the danger of Vieira. Based on the caliber of the team, the Gunners will most likely come out as easy winners and open their account for the season with a victory.