Rapid Vienna vs. Arsenal – Europa League, October 22, 2020
Many of the top online soccer betting sites view Arsenal as the favorite to win the Europa League this season, and the English sides kicks off their campaign with a trip to Austria on Thursday, October 22.
Rapid Vienna is the Gunners’ first opponent, and with Norwegian club Molde and Irish minnows Dundalk also in Group B, Arsenal is expected to qualify for the knockout stages without any real problems.
Keep reading to see my Rapid Vienna vs. Arsenal prediction and betting pick.
Rapid Vienna vs. Arsenal Odds
It is no real surprise that 10bet regards Arsenal (1.55) as the clear favorite to win on Thursday. Rapid Vienna (5.45) may have the home advantage, but there is no denying that Mikel Arteta possesses the stronger of the two squads.
Let’s take a closer look at the teams.
Assessing the Teams
Having finished second in the Austrian Bundesliga last season, Rapid Vienna was given the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League. But after losing in the UCL play-offs, Dietmar Kuhbauer’s side dropped down into the Europa League.
However, the team has started the campaign in eye-catching form. The Green & Whites are unbeaten domestically, winning three and drawing one of their opening four league games. Before the international break, an impressive 3-0 victory over fellow Europa League competitor LASK kept the club within touching distance of frontrunner Red Bull Salzburg.
Arsenal will need to keep an eye on Taxiarchis Fountas, who notched up 20 goals and seven assists in just 29 appearances in all competitions last term. The Greek forward has already netted seven goals in seven games this season, making him Rapid’s obvious danger man.
Disappointed but encouraged.— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 18, 2020
The boss talks #MCIARS, Rob's injury and bouncing back in Vienna ?
Thanks to victories over Fulham, West Ham, and Sheffield United, the Gunners find themselves fifth in the early Premier League standings. Arsenal has also seen off EPL rivals Leicester and Liverpool in the Carabao Cup this season, so it’s fair to say that Arteta’s men have made a strong start to 2020/21.
Despite losing 1-0 to Manchester City last time out, Areta will be proud of his team’s efforts at the Etihad Stadium. Arsenal produced plenty of goalscoring opportunities against Pep Guardiola’s side, and that doesn’t bode well for Rapid.
With a jam-packed schedule on the horizon, Arteta is likely to rest a number of players for Thursday’s game. But with Thomas Partey, Gabriel, and Willian strengthening the squad during the summer transfer window, the Gunners now boast strength in depth.
Rapid Vienna vs. Arsenal Pick
Arsenal to Win1.55
Even if Arteta chooses to field a weakened starting XI, I’m confident that Arsenal has more than enough quality to get the job done in Austria. The Gunners will be looking to compete on all fronts this season, so they will be eager to kick off their Europa League campaign with a win.
Don’t get me wrong, Rapid will put up a decent fight. The Austrians have made a solid start to the campaign, but I can see them struggling to deal with Arsenal’s firepower.