With four wins out of four, already-qualified Arsenal need just a point on Matchday 5 at home to a revived Rapid Wien to secure first place in Group B.
Article top media content
With four wins out of four, Arsenal are through to the UEFA Europa League knockout phase for the fourth successive season and need just a point on Matchday 5 at home to a revived Rapid Wien to secure first place in Group B.
• Both clubs come into this fixture having completed the double over group rivals, Arsenal seeing off Molde 4-1 at home and 3-0 away while Rapid, who lost their first two games, also scored seven goals in twice beating Dundalk (4-3 h, 3-1 a). The Austrian side are level with Molde on six points and know that irrespective of the result in north London they will go into their final fixture, at home to the Norwegian side, with their qualifying fate in their own hands.
• The clubs' first UEFA encounter took place on Matchday 1, Arsenal coming from behind to beat Rapid 2-1 in Vienna thanks to goals from David Luiz and substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the home side had taken the lead through Taxiarchis Fountas.
• Arsenal have been paired with Austrian opposition just once before in UEFA competition, and although they lost the second away leg of their 1991/92 European Cup first round tie against Rapid's city rivals Austria Wien 1-0, they had already taken command with a 6-1 victory at Highbury – English football's first European Cup match in six years following the Heysel ban – in which striker Alan Smith scored four goals in 16 second-half minutes on his European debut.
• Rapid overcame Aston Villa two seasons running in the UEFA Europa League play-offs to qualify for the group stage – in 2009/10 (1-0 h, 1-2 a) and 2010/11 (1-1 h, 3-2 a) – though their most high-profile fixture against English opposition ended in defeat, 3-1 to Everton in Rotterdam in the 1985 European Cup Winners' Cup final. Rapid's record in England is W1 L3, the victory coming on their last visit in that 2010 encounter at Villa Park.
• Eighth in the 2019/20 Premier League, Arsenal ensured a 25th consecutive season in Europe by winning the FA Cup under new manager Mikel Arteta – the club's record 14th triumph in the competition – with a 2-1 victory over London rivals Chelsea in the final. Their third successive UEFA Europa League campaign ended in the round of 32 with an extra-time away goals defeat by Olympiacos (1-0 a, 1-2 h).
• UEFA Champions League ever-presents for 19 seasons in a row 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 de Madrid, before going one step further and making it to the 2018/19 final, where they were defeated 4-1 by Chelsea in Baku. They have been group winners on all three previous appearances.
• The 1999/2000 UEFA Cup runners-up have lost two of their last six European home games but their overall UEFA Europa League record at the Arsenal Stadium is W14 D3 L3. In the group stage it is W8 D1 L1, those figures boosted by back-to-back wins this season against Dundalk (3-0) and Molde.
• A runners-up spot in the 2019/20 Austrian Bundesliga, 12 points behind champions Salzburg, earned Rapid a return to Europe after a year's absence and a place in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round. There they overcame Lokomotiva Zagreb 1-0 away before losing 2-1 at Gent – a result that transported Dietmar Kühbauer's team into the UEFA Europa League group stage.
• This is the Vienna club's record-equalling eighth participation in the UEFA Europa League group stage. They have progressed through to the knockout phase just twice previously, in 2015/16 and on their most recent appearance in 2018/19, when they finished second on ten points behind Villarreal, eliminating both Rangers and Spartak Moskva. They were subsequently knocked out in the round of 32 by Internazionale (0-1 h, 0-4 a).
• Despite winning at Dundalk last time out, thanks to goals from Christoph Knasmüllner and Ercan Kara (two), Rapid have lost eight of their last 11 away fixtures in the UEFA Europa League, qualifying included, failing to score in five of them.
Links and trivia
• Arsenal manager Arteta came on as a half-time substitute in both legs of Paris Saint-Germain's 6-2 aggregate win against Rapid in the 2001/02 UEFA Cup second round (4-0 h, 2-2 a).
• Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th.
• Arsenal's Sead Kolašinac and Rapid's Srdjan Grahovac are fellow internationals for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
• Knasmüllner played for English second-tier club Barnsley for six months in 2018, whereas team-mate Marcel Ritzmaier is currently on loan to Rapid from the Yorkshire club.
• Three Arsenal players appeared against Rapid in the UEFA Europa League for other clubs before this season, all in victories with clean sheets. Bernd Leno kept goal in a 4-0 win for Bayer Leverkusen in the 2012/13 group stage, Shkodran Mustafi was in the Valencia defence for another 4-0 win, in the 2015/16 round of 32, and Cédric played in both games for Internazionale (1-0 a, 4-0 h) in the 2018/19 round of 32.
• Arsenal's win on Matchday 4 was their 27th in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, the most in the competition by an English club – two more than local rivals Tottenham.
• Rapid's defeat at Molde on Matchday 2 was their 26th in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, equalling the competition record previously held alone by another Norwegian club, Rosenborg. The Austrian club have now conceded 95 goals in the competition proper – only Villarreal (97) have let in more.