In a highly anticipated clash, two football powerhouses, Arsenal and Lens, are gearing up for a face-off in their UEFA Champions League 2023-24 Group B fixture on Thursday at the iconic Emirates Stadium in London.
The campaigns of these two teams have unfolded in starkly different ways, creating an intriguing narrative that adds to the excitement of this upcoming match.
For Arsenal, avoiding a loss in this crucial fixture will secure their spot in the UCL 2023-24 next round. On the other hand, Lens desperately needs a win to keep their hopes alive for qualifying.
The stakes are high, and the Emirates Stadium is set to witness a clash that could determine the fate of at least one team in the league this year. Fans can expect a thrilling encounter, as the contrasting journeys of these football giants converge on the field, promising an intense and exciting spectacle.
Both Arsenal and Lens have scored 13 goals in eight matches this UCL season combined.
The betting tip is...
More than 3.5 goals to be scored in the contest
The Arsenal players have played a sensational brand of football in the UCL season till now and have been in scintillating form.
Bukayo Saka leads the charts with the most goal involvement (6 goals and 8 assists), whereas Leandro Trossard is right behind him with 6 goals and 2 assists to his name.
Kai Havertz has shown everyone why Arsenal were so keen on signing him, as he has controlled the game for them left, right, and center. Arsenal currently have nine points and very well knows that a win or even a draw will give them a ticket to the UCL knockouts.
Gabriel Martinelli, L. Trossard, Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz, Jorginho, Declan Rice, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Gabriel, William Saliba, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and David Raya
Predicted Lineup: David Raya to start the match ahead of Ramsdale
Florian Sotoca is the player who has played a huge role in still keeping Lens’ hopes alive of qualifying for the UCL knockouts. He has scored the club’s 13.8% shots on target this year and has made seven goal contributions (3 goals and 4 assists).
Elye Wahi has supported him well with three goals and two assists for the club. Brice Samba also seems to be in great form, as he has an aggregate of 2.8 saves per goal in the current season. For Lens, beating Arsenal in this match is a necessity if they want to keep their UCL dream alive.
Brice Samba will be key figure of Lens against Arsenal.
Predicted Lineup: E. Wahi, Florian Sotoca, Adrien Thomasson, Ruben Aguilar, Salis Abdul Samed, Neil El Aynaoui, M. Haidara, Jonathan Gradit, Kevin Danso, Facund Medina, and Brice Samba
While there isn't a historical grudge between these two clubs, Lens has had the upper hand in their previous encounters, with Arsenal unable to secure a win in either of the two matches played.
Delving into the crucial stats, Arsenal has been on a goal-scoring spree this season, boasting an impressive aggregate of 2 goals per match. In contrast, Lens has maintained a rate of 1.06 goals per match.
If Lens aims to thwart Arsenal's scoring prowess on Thursday, they'll need to devise some innovative strategies to counter their formidable opponent.
However, we anticipate that as long as Arsenal sticks to the fundamentals and executes their game plan, they are poised to continue their unbeaten streak in the last 12 home games. We expect Arsenal to win at their home.