Vitoria boss Ivo Vieira ready for ‘difficult’ Arsenal test
Vitoria head coach Ivo Vieira almost led his side to a memorable victory at Arsenal but is expecting a tougher test when their Europa League opponents visit Guimaraes on Wednesday.
The Primeira Liga team twice took the lead at the Emirates Stadium last month before a brace of Nicolas Pepe free-kicks ensured Arsenal kept their perfect start to Group F alive with a 3-2 win.
Unfancied Vitoria caused plenty of problems in London, scoring their first goals of the group stage and threatening to heap more pressure on under-fire Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
The performance will have given plenty of Portuguese supporters hope of a famous result at the Estadio D. Afonso Henriques – the stadium which hosted both of England’s Nations League finals matches in the summer.
The game kicks off at 15:50GMT with Vitoria unable to play on Thursday – the same night as near-neighbours Braga and Porto – and a clash with Wednesday’s later Champions League fixtures also needs to be avoided.
And Vieira has warned anyone harbouring expectations of a similar game to the reverse tie that it will be more difficult this time around.
“Our goal is to win,” he told reporters at his pre-match press conference. “But my expectation is that this game will be more difficult for the zeal that was created and for the expectation that we could have won and it did not happen.
“That has to give us a lot of balance to not be ‘thirsty’ for the win and allow Arsenal in transition to make the game complicated for us.”
Meanwhile, Bruno Duarte – the Vitoria forward who put the visitors in front for the second time a fortnight ago – insists they have to do better than simply “play well” if they want to pull off the shock this time.
“It is not enough to play well to defeat a big opponent,” he said. “We have to be as careful as possible.
“We cannot concede goals and we have to be prepared to score our own. Plenty of good work is being done to try and find the victory.”