In normal times a dead-rubber Europa League clash against Rapid Vienna on a cold evening in the build-up to Christmas would be a tough sell even to Arsenal diehards but Thursday’s tie is perhaps the most eagerly-awaited of the season.

That is because, for the first time since March 7, fans will be allowed inside the Emirates stadium, even if it’s only 2,000 of them.

With England emerging from national lockdown and London placed in the government’s Tier 2 level of COVID-19 restrictions, Arsenal’s match against Rapid will be the first involving any Premier League team to have fans present for a competitive fixture since the pandemic took hold.

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Arteta worried about Arsenal’s killer instinct in tight games

Mikel Arteta’s team has already qualified from Group B so the result is academic, but it will be a landmark night for the club’s fans who, like those all over the country, have…

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