Seven days after beating Bodo/Glimt, we’re back facing the same opposition again on Thursday night as we aim to take another step towards qualification for the knockout stage of the Europa League.
Following the 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium last week, Mikel Arteta admitted that he expects a very different test in this return game, as we head to the Arctic Circle for an encounter that’ll take place on an artificial pitch.
It’s a place teams haven’t enjoyed heading to in recent years, with Bodo/Glimt winning all of their last 14 home matches in European competitions, the longest run by any side since Barcelona’s 15-game stretch which ended in March 2017.
Bodo/Glimt play at the Aspmyra Stadion, which holds 8,270 spectators. The club is hoping to build a new 10,000-seater stadium to mark Glimt being named European Capital of Culture for 2024, with the aim of making it the most sustainable stadium in the world.
The club’s supporters are known to bring a giant yellow toothbrush to their games, a tradition that started after the item was used by fans to conduct singing in the stands. For many years visiting teams have received a yellow toothbrush ahead of matches.
Despite being based in one of the world’s northernmost towns 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, conditions aren’t expected to be too cold, with a temperature of around 8 degrees celcius come kick-off time.
Since we last played
Following their trip to Emirates Stadium, Bodo/Glimt were back in league action on Sunday and recorded a 4-1 win at home to Sandefjord to record their first victory on home turf since August.
Kjetil Knutsen made four changes to his starting XI, who trailed at the break when Runar Espejord and Ulrik Saltnes were introduced to the fray. Within 15 minutes, goals from Hugo Vetlesen and Brice Wembangomo had turned the game on its head.
The division’s top scorer Amahl Pellegrino then netted his 21st league goal of the season, before Vetlesen completed his brace to ensure Bodo/Glimt remain second in the table - 15 points behind leaders Molde with only six games left to play.
As it stands
What the managers say
Arteta on Bodo/Glimt: "They are one of the contenders to be at the top of the group for sure at the end of the games. Tomorrow again we will have a difficult test.
"Their supporters were really loud, really passionate and I spoke to Martin about it. He mentioned to expect a great atmosphere here and it’s great. That’s why you travel into Europe as well." - read or watch every word of Mikel's press conference
Knutsen on us: "It is perhaps the biggest match we'll play. At least it is against the best opponent. Not necessarily because they have better individual players than Roma, but there is something about the professionalism and history of the club. All the games in Europe are fantastic for me.
"We will see how much you can learn in a week and get an answer to that tomorrow. What matters is that we dare to be the best version of ourselves. Then we'll see if we learn along the way, and then at least I'll be satisfied."
Mikel Arteta has revealed that Gabriel Jesus did not fly with the team to Norway to allow him to rest, having played in every game so far this season.
Having missed the game against Liverpool, Oleksandr Zinchenko is doubtful, while Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny are also set to miss out.
After being brought on at half-time of the weekend’s win against Sandefjord, Saltnes was withdrawn towards the end of the game as a precaution after feeling a muscle strain.
Facts and stats
Eddie Nketiah has scored in four consecutive starts in the Europa League. If he starts and scores in this game, he will become the first Englishman to score in five starts in a row in the competition.
After losing in London in the reverse fixture last time out, Bodo/Glimt could lose consecutive games in a single season in major European competition for the first time since September 1996 in the UEFA Cup, both against Trabzonspor.
We are unbeaten away to Norwegian teams in Europe (W2 D1), most recently beating Molde 3-0 in this competition in 2020/21 with goals from Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson and Folarin Balogun.
We have lost just one of our last 14 away games in the Europa League (W10 D3), with that defeat coming against Villarreal in the 2020/21 semi-finals.
Bosnian official Irfan Peljto will take charge of this one, who has been on the FIFA referees list since 2015 and last season refereed his first Champions League game - the first man from his nation to do so.
This will be the second time he has officiated one of our matches, the first of which also came in Norway when we beat Molde 3-0 in November 2020.
- Referee: Irfan Peljto
- Assistant Referee 1: Davor Beljo
- Assistant Referee 2: Damir Lazic
- Fourth Official: Admir Sehovic
- VAR: Marco Guida
- Assistant VAR: Fabio Maresca
Previous trips to Norway
We have headed to Norway for competitive action on three previous occasions. The first time saw us win 3-1 against Stromsgodset in the first round of the 1971/72 European Cup, with Peter Simpson, Peter Marinello and Edward Kelly getting on the scoresheet.
It was 33 years until our next trip when we faced Rosenberg in the group stage of the 2004/05 Champions League where a Freddie Ljungberg goal secured a 1-1 draw in the away game, and two years ago against Molde strikes from Pepe, Reiss Nelson and Folarin Balogun sealed a 3-0 success.
Tune in from 4.45pm UK time for the best pre-match coverage of the game for any Gooner.
Nicole Holliday and Adrian Clarke are live from the My Arsenal Rewards box, who will look back at the home match against Bodo/Glimt last week and break down how we can claim another three points from our visit to Norway.
Stadium announcer Peter Mujuzi joins us to talk about his role at the club, before we hand over to Max Jones and Nigel Winterburn for live commentary of the game.