In short, the reason Arsenal are playing Vitoria Guimaraes on a Wednesday afternoon is to ease congestion fears with Vitoria’s local rivals who are also playing Europa League football.
Tomorrow evening, SC Braga are due to host Turkish outfit Besiktas some ten miles from the Estadio D. Afonso Henriques stadium, where Arsenal are playing Vitoria. Due to fears of a clashes between fans and major congestion in the area, UEFA decided it would be best to bring Arsenal’s fixture 24 hours forward.
Arsenal in Europa League action on a Wednesday?
Interestingly, with both the Portuguese sides playing in the Europa League, this isn’t even the only time that will happen this season. Vitoria’s fixture against Standard Liege on November 27th having also been moved to a Wednesday.
The other thing that strikes the eye about this fixture is the kick off time. With the game scheduled to get underway at 3:50pm – a completely irregular time for any game to kick off, especially in mid-week. The reason for this is because, as Wednesday’s are normally reserved for Champions League fixtures, UEFA didn’t want this fixture to clash with the early games in Europe’s premier competition.
Champions League will always be the priority, especially when the elite sides are involved. Broadcasters will be showing Bayern Munich’s match-up against Olympiacos and Juventus’ visit to Lokomotiv Moscow at 5:55pm.