Arsenal vs. BATE: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info for Europa Match

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2017

COLOGNE, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 23: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group H soccer match between 1.FC Cologne and Arsenal FC at the Rhein-Energie stadium in Cologne, Germany on November 23, 2017. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal have already booked their place in the knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa League after confirming top spot in Group H in the last round of fixtures.

On Thursday, however, they play host to a BATE Borisov side who need to pick up three points to keep alive their hopes of reaching the round of 32.

A victory may not even be enough for the Belarusian team as they also require Red Star Belgrade and Cologne to draw in the other Group H fixture in order to jump ahead of the pair into second place.

But it should add a competitive edge to a clash that, in other circumstances, would have been a dead rubber.

           

Date: Thursday, Dec. 7

Time: 8:05 p.m. GMT, 3:05 p.m. ET

TV Info: Live on BT Sport 2 (UK) and ESPN Deportes (U.S.) 

Live Stream: BT Sport website, ESPN Player

           

When Arsenal and BATE met for their first clash of the 2017-18 Europa League group stage, the Premier League outfit prevailed 4-2 at the Borisov Arena.

BATE can draw confidence that they could get the result they need at the Emirates Stadium, though, as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will surely rest a number of key players given they have already topped the group.

The Gunners are at the start of the busiest period of the domestic season and have six more Premier League fixtures to play before the end of December.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02:  Arsene Wenger of Arsenal shows his disappointment during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on December 2, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

They suffered a chastening 3-1 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday that ended a 12-game winning run at home in the top flight.

But Wenger will surely be more concerned about having fresh players for their visit to Southampton on Sunday than beating BATE in a clash that cannot change Arsenal's status in Group H.

That does not mean the Gunners manager will put out a poor side. Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck will likely start, and the pair will be hugely motivated to put on a good display given their lack of game time this term.

Aside from long-term absentee Santi Cazorla, the only fitness concern Arsenal have is centre-back Shkodran Mustafi, who had to be replaced early on against United.

Wenger said after the Red Devils defeat he did not know what was wrong with the German defender, per injury analyst Ben Dinnery:

But it seems unlikely he will be risked in the Europa League.

Even against a second-string Arsenal side, BATE will have to put in a momentous performance to get the win they need.

They have a poor record away from home in European competition having won just two of their last 24 matches on the road.

Despite Arsenal having already secured top spot, they will not give up three points as they look to build momentum ahead of the Christmas period.