Top spot in UEFA Europa League Group F is up for grabs as Arsenal and Standard Liège, both winners on matchday one, go head to head.
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Top spot in Group F is up for grabs as Arsenal and Standard Liège, both matchday one winners, go head to head in north London.
• Last season's runners-up Arsenal kicked off this campaign with an impressive 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt, late goals from Bukayo Saka – his first for the club – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – his 17th in the UEFA Europa League – adding to Joe Willock's first-half strike. Standard also secured three points on opening night, winning 2-0 at home to Portuguese visitors Vitória SC.
• The Gunners have won all four previous UEFA encounters against Les Rouches, including a 7-0 success in Liege in the second round of the 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup that still stands as their biggest European away win and Standard's heaviest European home defeat.
• Arsenal had a perfect home record against Belgian visitors with three wins out of three until the most recent such encounter, in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage, when Anderlecht came back from three goals down to draw 3-3.
• Standard have never won in seven visits to England, losing six times and drawing once – 2-2 at Everton in the first round of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup. They won the return 2-1 – one of only two home victories against English clubs – to advance to the group stage.
• UEFA Champions League ever-presents for 19 successive seasons from 1998/99 to 2016/17, Arsenal reached the UEFA Europa League semi-finals at the first attempt in 2017/18, losing to eventual winners Atlético, before going one step further and making it to last season's final, where they were defeated 4-1 by London rivals Chelsea.
• Fifth place in the 2018/19 Premier League secured a third successive UEFA Europa League group stage berth for the Gunners, who had won five European games in a row – one against Rennes, two apiece against Napoli and Valencia – before the loss in Baku.
• Arsenal have picked up seven points at home in each of their previous two UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns. They have not conceded home or away in any of their last six group encounters and have won six of their last seven UEFA Europa League matches, last season's final the exception. Their home record in this competition is W10 D3 L1.
• Standard's third place in the 2018/19 Belgian league earned them direct qualification for this season's group stage.
• The Liege club have competed in the UEFA Europa League group stage in five previous campaigns, but have only once made further progress, in 2011/12, when they went through to the round of 16. They were also quarter-finalists in the inaugural 2009/10 season after switching over mid-campaign from the UEFA Champions League. Last season they failed to get into the knockout phase despite picking up ten points in a group that contained Sevilla, Krasnodar and Akhisar.
• Standard have lost half of their away fixtures in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final (W4 D6 L10), winning only one of the last 14 (D4 L9). However, they arrive at Arsenal on a run of three clean sheets in the competition, home and away.
Links and trivia
• Arsenal's Sead Kolašinac and Standard's Gojko Cimirot are team-mates for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
• Paul-José Mpoku, who scored Standard's second goal on matchday one, was on the books of Arsenal's local rivals Tottenham Hotspur early in his career, spending 2010/11 on loan at Leyton Orient.
• Standard full-back Mërgim Vojvoda scored an own goal in Kosovo's 5-3 defeat by England in last month's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier in Southampton.
• Standard still hold the record for the fewest goals conceded in a UEFA Europa League group – one in their 2011/12 campaign. Only Salzburg, in 2017/18, have since matched it.
• After two years with Paris Saint-Germain that yielded seven domestic trophies, Unai Emery was appointed as Arsenal manager in May 2018, replacing the long-serving Arsène Wenger. The Spaniard oversaw Sevilla's historic hat-trick of successes in the UEFA Europa League from 2013/14 to 2015/16, having assumed control following a four-year tenure at Valencia and a brief stint at Spartak Moskva. A finalist again with the Gunners in 2018/19, he has been in charge of more UEFA Europa League games than any other coach, this being his 76th.
• A former goalkeeper who played 58 times for the Belgian national team, Michel Preud'homme started out with Standard, winning two league titles with the club, before making further waves with Mechelen, notably in their European Cup Winners' Cup triumph of 1988/89. He has enjoyed similar success as a coach, winning trophies with every club he has managed, most recently the 2015/16 Belgian league with Club Brugge. This is his third spell in charge at Standard, his return in May 2018 coming after ten years away.