Why Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Vitoria has been moved away from Thursday slot | Football | Sport
Arsenal’s Europa League tie with Vitoria will be played on a Wednesday with details of the fixture now confirmed.
Europa League matches are traditionally played on a Thursday, with kick-off times either 5.55pm or 8pm.
However Arsenal’s clash at Portuguese outfit Vitoria will be played on Wednesday November 6 at 3.50pm.
Arsenal posted a statement confirming the change, saying: “As mentioned in previous communications, this match has been switched by Uefa from Thursday to Wednesday due to other matches taking place in close proximity in Portugal.”
The switch in date is due to SC Braga also being in Europa League action.
Braga’s home clash with Besiktas was also originally scheduled for Thursday November 7.
Vitoria’s Estadio D Afonso Henriques is just 15 miles from Braga’s home stadium.
And Portuguese police forbid multiple teams in the same region from playing home matches on the same evening.
Braga get precedent over the original date due to them being higher in the UEFA coefficients than Vitoria.
The 3.50pm kick-off also means that Arsenal’s Europa League tie will not clash with Champions League fixtures on the same day.
The Gunners are among the favourites for the Europa League having reached the final last season.
They were comprehensively beaten by Chelsea on that occasion, though should comfortably progress through their group.
As well as Vitoria, Arsenal will also come up against Standard Liege and Eintracht Frankfurt.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery has won the Europa League three times, though was mocked for that by legendary Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
Emery recently revealed: “One day we were in Nyon for the coaches meeting and I was defending a lot the Europa League, and he – Ferguson – asked me, ‘But really Unai, do you not prefer to win the Champions League?’
“Yes of course! He don’t need to say it. But at that moment I can be happy and I can defend the Europa League because also I think the UEFA people improve a lot this competition. But really, really the first is the Champions League – okay.”