Do 2 average teams equal an average game?
This years edition of the Europa League kicks off on Thursday with Frankfurt welcoming Arsenal to Commerzbank Arena in group F.
Both teams have had average starts to their seasons and might see the Europa league as a way of kickstarting them. This is a game between the two teams that will probably occupy first and second place so a win here would put them in a very advantageous position.
Die Adler have so far won two and lost two games in the Bundesliga, one of those defeats came away at Leipzig meaning that it should not be read into all that much and the other defeat was incurred at Augsberg where they were the better team but a loss is a loss.
It's too early to say for sure but it seems like Frankfurt have gone from being a relatively free-scoring team to a more conservative, careful one. They have a goal difference of 5-5 from their first 4 games which is not a catastrophe but also not as good as they were naturally hoping for.
This is most certainly due to the departures of their whole forward-line consisting of Ante Rebic, Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller. Losing one star player is tough for teams to cope with, losing all 3 is borderline catastrophic, no matter how much money the team rakes in.
Despite losing their best attacking players they are after all going up against a shambolic Arsenal defence so a few goals is not out of the question.
Seeing the Gunners draw 2-2 at Watford made me, for a brief moment, believe that Arsenal were purposely self-sabotaging. They literally gave away both goals. Describing their defence as s**t does not even do said description justice, they are THAT bad.
Emery's saving grace is that he has Aubameyang in his squad with the Gabonese international already on 5 goals after 5 games and is, as he did last season, carrying Arsenal on his shoulders at the moment. Lacazette is nearly as important but is unfortunately injured at the moment and will be missing for another few weeks.
On a serious note, Arsenal's offence is class. The addition of Pepe has added a whole new dimension to their attacking play and Ceballos looks like the creative but hard-working force they have been yearning for since Özil went missing a couple of years ago. Even the wingbacks Kolasinac and Maitland-Niles have impressed but the unfortunate part is that none of this matters unless they fix their glaring centre back issues.
Betting on Arsenal away from home is always a risk too big worth taking but i have not been overly impressed with this Frankfurt side either which is why i will be looking towards the goals market. The stand out tip is Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals at 43/50 with Bethard.