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Remind me next time

Arsenal host Norway’s Molde in the Europa Leage on Thursday night. The Group B rivals are level on six points from six possible. A win will push one of the two clubs into pole position to qualify for the knockout round as group winners.

Mikel Arteta’s team should have plenty of confidence heading into the game. Arsenal are on a two-game winning streak in all competitions. After thrashing Dundalk in the Europa League, a week ago, 3-0, the Gunners went to Old Trafford and claimed a 1-0 win. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty gave the victory to Arsenal.

Molde also claimed a win at the weekend on the domestic front. Erling Moe’s team claimed a 3-1 victory against Mjodalen. Molde defeated Dundalk on matchday 1 of the Europa League 2-1 and followed it up with a 1-0 victory against Rapi Wien. Molde are +2 in goal difference, which is two goals short of Arsenal. Arsenal are +4 in goal difference after two games.

Arsenal and Molde will play back-to-back games in the Europa League. Between their games in the Europa League, Arsenal will face off with Aston Villa and Leeds United in the Premier League. Can Arteta’s team continue their good form and extend their lead at the top of Group B?

Arsenal vs Molde Betting Odds

Arsenal are unbeaten in eight of their 11 games in all competitions this season. Arteta’s team have been impressive on the defensive side of the ball. Just eight goals have been scored against Arsenal for an average of just 0.73 goals conceded per match. Arsenal average 1.45 goals per game in all competitions. The Gunners have kept five clean sheets. Their last two games in all competitions both ended in wins to nil.

Molde began their European season in the Champions League qualifying rounds. They were eliminated from the competition in the playoff round by Hungary’s Ferencvaros on away goals. Molde recorded a 2-1 win versus Dundalk on matchday 1 of the Europa League. Matchday 2 saw Molde win to nil versus Rapid Wien. Like Arsenal, Molde struggled to get goals against Rapid Wien, winning the game narrowly, 1-0.

Arsenal have not been very strong in front of goal in the Premier League this season. They have scored just nine goal while allowing seven to opponents. Six of Arsenal’s 11 games in all competitions finished with over 2.5 goals scored. Just four of their 11 games finished with both teams scoring goals. Both Arsenal Europa League matches finished with over 2.5 goals tallied.

Arsenal vs Molde Team News

New Arsenal players Thomas Partey an Gabriel Magalhaes received top marks from onlookers for their play against Manchester United at the weekend. Arsenal have been very good defensively this campaign in spite of a lack of goals scored. Arteta could rotate his defensive players for the game, however, the manager has shown that he will play his best players if available in the league.

Arteta could start summer signing Alex Runnarsson in goal to give Bernd Leno the chance to rest. Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka are both options to play. Arteta could start Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Nicolas Pepe, Shkodran Mustafi and Eddie Nketiah versus the Norwegians after they were all on the bench for the Sunday game at Old Trafford.

Defenders Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari are ruled out along with forward Gabriel Martinelli. Centre-back David Luiz is nearly fully recovered from a thigh strain. However, Thursday night’s game could come a bit too early for him to play.

Molde forward Leke James leads the team in goal scoring this season. James has scored nine goals and averages a goal every 124.1 minutes of football in all competitions. James scored a goal in each of his last Eliteserien matches. He is yet to score in the group stage.

Arsenal vs Molde Prediction

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Arsenal dominated Dundalk on matchday 2 of the Europa League. They struggled to get goals against Rapid Wien in the first half. The Gunners should overrun Molde in both halves of the game. Although the Norwegians are a good team, they do not play against teams of Arsenal’s quality each week. Two of Arsenal’s 11 games in all competitions finished with them winning at halftime and full-time.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hasn’t been great since signing his new contract at the Emirates. Still, he is a brilliant attacking player that could breakout on Thursday night against a Molde defence that doesn’t play against attackers as good as Aubameyang often. Aubameyang has scored four goals in nine games in all competitions. He bagged the winning penalty versus Manchester United at the weekend. He didn’t play on Europa League matchday 2. He could return to the side for the game.

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Both of Arsenal’s Europa League games this season ended with over 2.5 goals scored. They came from behind against Rapid Wien to win 2-1. Aubameyang got one of the goals while David Luiz got the other. Against Dundalk, Arsenal had little difficulty gaining the win 3-0. Thursday night’s game should be along the difficulty lines of Arsenal’s matchday 1 game versus Rapid Wien.

Six of Arsenal’s 11 games in all competitions finished with over 2.5 goals scored. Both Europa League game saw over 2.5 goals tallied. One of Molde’s two Europa League group games finished with over 2.5 goals.

Arteta’s team have been hot and cold in the league this season, but playing well in the Europa League. The Gunners have a 1.21 expected goals per game tally in the league and 8.57 shots per 90 minutes figure. Their attack has been far more impressive in the Europa League where they have played teams of lesser talent.

Can Molde get points against Arsenal on Thursday night? It is unlikely as Arsenal will claim a matchday 3 win and take sole control of Group B.

Arsenal vs Molde Betting Tips