Morning all.

Another match day is upon us and this one is an earlier kickoff, 5.45pm. Pre match, a number of questions were put to Mikel Arteta about the pitch which is of course, artificial but he wouldn’t be drawn into using that as a reason to change his approach to the game. I think the pitch gives Bodo/Glimt an advantage but only because they’re used to playing on it unlike Arsenal.

I think we saw enough of tonight’s opposition a week ago to know that they’re a good side who can if given the opportunity, cause us problems. In front of their own fans, it’s likely they’ll be ready from the off. The stadium is small, with just under a 9,000 capacity but I bet it’ll be loud.

Gabriel Jesus hasn’t travelled to Norway, he’s been through too much in recent weeks said Mikel Arteta. Emile Smith Rowe and Mo Elneny remain out and during his press conference, Mikel Arteta hinted that injuries have prevented a few others from travelling too but we’ll only find out later who they are.

I’d imagine the starting eleven will again be very different to the one which beat Liverpool, perhaps the difference being which of the ‘first team’ players start. Granit Xhaka, Gabriel and Gabriel Martinelli started last weeks match so maybe they’ll be on the bench.

A victory in Norway would secure qualification to the knockout stage because both Bodo and Zurich have already played three matches, four after tonight so neither club would be able to catch us up. As we know though, a boring and defensive Jose Mourinho side got thumped 6-1 by Bodo in Norway just a year ago. In fact, Bodo have won their last 14 home matches in European competitions so it’s not going to be a walk in the park for Mikel Arteta’s team tonight.

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 (today) 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.

For captain Martin Odegaard, it’s a trip back to where his footballing career started and against the club he played his first league game as a 15 year old. Now he’s 23 and captain for his club and country. Quite a journey he’s had really and even now I can’t understand why Real Madrid didn’t think he was either good enough or right for them. I’m glad they didn’t though because he’s a quality footballer.

Speaking to the media after landing in Norway, our captain said:

I think the biggest mistake we can make is to talk too much about the pitch, the weather or whatever. The most important thing is just to come here and win the game, that’s all that matters. We are not going to focus too much on the pitch, obviously it’s different and we have to adjust a little bit but it’s still football, it’s still the same rules and we are going to go out to win the game.

He’s right of course, there are no excuses ahead of tonight, it’s just a game of football between two clubs who want to win. Bodo need a win more than we do but as said, the sooner we secure qualification to the knockout stage better.

Our captain also talked about his memories of making his club debut 10 years ago in Norway…

Yeah, I remember it well. I was a kid, I feel young today but that was about eight, ten years ago so I was a kid. It was a good time obviously, I was playing football, having fun, enjoying life doing what I love. It was a great time, everything went really quick but I enjoyed it and there’s nothing more to say, it was fun.

I read something about the Bodo fans heading to the match tonight have been asked not to cheer on Arsenal because of Martin Odegaard. Not sure if that’s true or not but I can’t imagine Bodo fans cheering on the opposition rather than their own team. Stranger things have happened I suppose.

Like Bodo/Glimt losing a European football fixture on their own turf.

See you in the comments.