Arsenal vs Rapid ViennaUEFA Europa League, KO: 20:00 Dec 3, 2020, Emirates Stadium
MIKEL ARTETA is coming under fire for the first time as Arsenal boss so this Europa League dead rubber with Rapid Vienna has taken on more importance than many expected it to.
The Gunners boss has mostly earned praise since taking over from Unai Emery and steered the Gunners to memorable wins over big guns Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea towards the end of last season.
His side were expected to push on in the new campaign but that hasn't happened, with Arsenal sitting 14th in the Premier League after a 2-1 loss at home to Wolves on Sunday.
It's their worst start to a Premier League season and their only win in the last four matches has come against Molde in the Europa League (below) so Arteta needs his players to ease the pressure on him.
The Europa League has been the only place where the Gunners have shown consistency, racking up four wins in a row to qualify for the last 32 with two games to spare.
Rapid Vienna and Molde are level with points as they scrap it out to finish runners-up so the Austrians will be targeting a victory at the Emirates against an Arsenal side low on confidence.
However, their form is just as bad as Arsenal's, with a 3-1 win at Dundalk in their last Europa League match also their only victory in the last four matches.
How the bookies view it
Arsenal are heavy favourites despite their poor form and are 4/9 with most firms while Rapid Vienna are 6/1 outsiders and the draw is 4/1 with the same firm.
Big-money signing Thomas Partey is still out injured for Arsenal but Sead Kolasinac looks set to rejoin the squad and Nicolas Pepe returns from a domestic suspension.
Rapid Vienna still have a host of players out injured with Tamás Szántó, Philipp Schobesberger, Christopher Dibon, Dalibor Velimirovic, Dejan Ljubicic and Dejan Petrovic all sidelined.
Players to watch
Pepe should be thrown in the midst of his domestic ban and the winger has impressed in Europe, netting three times in the group stage. He's 21/10 with BetVictor for anytime scorer which looks a little overpriced.
Ercan Kara netted twice for Rapid in their win over Dundalk and the striker has seven for the season. So he looks the best bet for a Rapid goal at 11/4 with Paddy Power.
Anything else catch the eye?
Our man Slips Tips went for Gunners goals against Molde and both his bets would have come up if the referee hadn't left his cards at home and failed to book a single player.
It's hard to know what to expect from Arteta's side as they have been free-scoring in Europe but toothless in the Premier League. Pepe's return will give them a bit of creativity so I'm going to back them to get more Euro joy and a Gunners goal in both halves pays 19/20 at William Hill.
I was let down when I tipped Arsenal to keep a clean sheet at home to Molde but they have shut the opposition out in two of their last three games. So I'm going to go for that bet again at 13/8 with Bet365.
This UEFA Europa League match between Arsenal and Rapid Vienna will be played on Dec 3, 2020 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Arsenal vs Rapid Vienna prediction.