Preview by Numbers: Red Star Belgrade v. Arsenal, Europa League Group Matchday 3

Rajko Mitić Stadium, Belgrade
Thursday, October 19
1:00 p.m. EDT, 18:00 BST
  • Match Officials from France
    • Referee: Benoît Bastien
    • Assistants: Hicham Zakrani and Frédéric Haquette
    • 4th Official: Julien Pacelli
    • Additional Assistants: Benoît Millot and Jérôme Miguelgorry
  • All-Time in All Competitions: 1 Red Star Belgrade win, 1 draw
  • Arsenal's Overall Form: D-W-W-W-W-L
  • Red Star Belgrade's Overall Form: W-W-W-L-W-W
Arsenal Squad News

Out: Mustafi (hamstring,) Cazorla (ankle)
Doubts: Coquelin (hamstring,) Welbeck (knock,) Koscielny (Achilles,) Chambers (hip) 
  • There are rumors that Mathieu Debuchy may get a start in defense. The Frenchman has not played since getting injured against Bournemouth on his only appearance of last season, nearly a year ago.
  • Danny Welbeck and Laurent Koscielny were both removed from Saturday's loss to Watford due to injuries, so I can't see either of them being risked.
  • Francis Coquelin appeared in some training photographs, so I've moved him into the doubts column. This would be an ideal match to get him minutes.
Predicted XI: Ospina, Debuchy, Holding, Monreal, Nelson, Maitland-Niles, Wilshere, Coquelin, Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud.

Red Star Belgrade Squad News
  • Number one goalkeeper and Canadian international (?!) Milan Borjan is expected to be out, meaning Damir Kahriman will deputize.
  • Defender Milan Rodić, midfielder Branko Jovičić, and defender Vujadin Savić are also all expected to miss out through injury.
Predicted XI: Kahriman, Stojković, Le Tallec, Babić, Gobeljić, Krstičić, Donald, Srnić, Kanga, Radonjić, Boakye.

Domestic Form
  • Arsenal went unbeaten between the September international break and October international break, then returned to blow a 1-0 lead and lose 2-1 at Watford.
  • The loss dropped Arsenal to sixth in the table, still behind Chelsea on goal difference after the Blues became the first team this season to lose to Crystal Palace. Watford, for their part, are now fourth.
  • Red Star Belgrade are four points clear at the top of their table; they've won 10, lost one, and drawn one in Serbia this year.
  • The loss came on October 1, 1-0, at Napredak. The draw was at home, 0-0, against Partizan in the Eternal Derby on August 27.
European Form
  • Arsenal have picked up a maximum six points from their group stage exploits so far and have not lost a European group stage match since November 4, 2015.
  • You have to go back to Arsenal's ridiculous 3-2 home loss to Olympiacos on September 29, 2015 to find the last time Arsenal lost a European match to a club that wasn't Bayern Munich or Barcelona.
  • Red Star started their European campaign in the Europa League's first qualifying round, meaning they needed to beat four teams to get to the group stage.
  • They racked up those wins 6-3 over Malta's Floriana, 3-1 over Kazakhstan's Irtysh Pavlodar, 3-0 over Sparta Prague, and 4-4 on away goals over Krasnodar.
  • They drew BATE Borisov 1-1 on matchday one before beating Köln 1-0 on matchday two. That leaves Red Star second in the group, behind Arsenal by two points.
Match Facts
  • Arsenal and Red Star Belgrade have only met in one previous European tie, in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup third round.
  • This might go without saying, but not a single player on either side was alive at the time of that tie.
  • Cvijetin Blagojević's goal gave Belgrade a 1-0 home win in the first leg of the tie.
  • Alan Sunderland put Arsenal ahead at Highbury in the second leg, leveling the tie on aggregate, but Dušan Savić's 87th minute equalizer earned the visitors a 1-1 draw, winning the tie 2-1.
  • Arsenal's only other matches against Serbian opposition came in the 2010 group stage of the Champions League, against Partizan Belgrade. Arsenal won both matches 3-1.
  • Red Star Belgrade have played 16 matches against English opposition. They've won six, lost five, and drawn five.
The Referee
  • The match officials are from France.
  • The referee is Benoît Bastien.
  • This is Bastien's first match for either team.
  • Bastien had the honor of working last summer's Under-21 European Championship final, in which Germany beat Héctor Bellerín and Spain, 1-0.
John Painting is a contributing writer to the Modern Gooner and promises these previews will get better after his upcoming wedding. You can follow him on Twitter @zorrocat to pressure him on that, but only after this weekend.