Exclusive: Vitória de Guimarães and Mali defender Falaye Sacko ready for UEFA Europa League encounter against Arsenal, talks Primeira Liga expectations

Vitória de Guimarães travel to the Emirates Stadium on October 24 to face Unai Emery’s Arsenal in their third group game of the 2019/2020 UEFA Europa League.
 
Os Conquistadores, who lost 2-0 to Michel Preud’homme’s Standard Liège on September 19 at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne in their opening 2019/2020 UEFA Europa League Group F encounter courtesy of conceding two second half goals, responded in their second UEFA Europa League group contest with a 1-0 loss against last season’s UEFA Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques on October 3; Evan N’Dicka’s 36th minute goal separated the differences between the two sides.
 
Unai Emery’s Arsenal meanwhile currently remains top of UEFA Europa League Group F with Belgian giants Standard Liège second place in the group; Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt sits third with three points from their opening two group matches with Vitória de Guimarães bottom of the group having dropped points in their first two group games. The 47-year-old Basque tactician, who won the UEFA Europa League three seasons consecutively with La Liga club Sevilla (2013/2014, 2014/2015, 2015/2016), unfortunately fell short in the final of the 2019 UEFA Europa League via a 4-1 defeat by Chelsea; the 2018/2019 season marked Emery’s maiden season at Arsenal.
 
However, Vitória de Guimarães, who finished fifth in the Primeira Liga last season, currently stands fourth at present in the Primeira Liga. Vitória de Guimarães’ next four Primeira Liga matches are against: Sporting CP (Away – October 27), Belenenses (Home – October 30), Moreirense (Away – November 2) and SC Braga (Home – November 10). The Braga-based club currently remains undefeated in their last four Primeira Liga matches, scoring 10 and conceding three during this period.
 
Vitória de Guimarães also presently remains six points adrift from FC Porto and Benfica in the Primeira Liga, as well as seven points apart from current Primeira Liga leaders Famalicão. Vitória de Guimarães, who were runners-up in both the Taça de Portugal and Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira in 2017, are among a number of Primeira Liga clubs, including local rivals SC Braga, who have worked strategically to challenge the long-standing dominance of the title laden Portuguese “Big Three” (Sporting CP, Benfica and FC Porto) in the Primeira Liga.
 
In an exclusive interview for FOX Sports Radio 96.9FM/1340AM, Vitória de Guimarães and Mali defender, Falaye Sacko, candidly shared his collective thoughts on Vitória de Guimarães facing Unai Emery’s Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the UEFA Europa League on October 24, coupled alongside the 24-year-old Mali international touching on continuity and consistency in the Primeira Liga, the expectations and pressures placed upon the club in the local media in Braga, as well as his thoughts on Ivo Vieira’s calming influence and motivational leadership. 
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Dean Perretta

Dean Perretta is a 2x SEA Award-winning creative, Broadcast Journalist, Reporter, Courtside Analyst for BBC televised London Lions and Executive Producer who currently contributes to FOX Sports Radio, FourFourTwo Magazine and Muscle & Fitness Magazine.