Dundalk vs Arsenal tale of the tape: How squad values and Instagram followers compare ahead of Europa League clash
ARSENAL hop over the Irish sea to face Dundalk this evening in a David vs Goliath Europa League clash.
While they've struggled to get going domestically this season, the Gunners remain a cornerstone of European football, one of the most famous clubs on the continent.
But tonight they will have to deliver against the highly-motivated Irish champions in their final Group B clash.
Mikel Arteta may well have an eye on recovering his side's league position, and could field some youngsters this evening, having already won the group.
But, despite already being eliminated, Dundalk will look to cause an upset, as they cherish the plum tie of their European adventure.
Let's take a look at some of the vast differences between the two clubs.
The quality of Arsenal's squad has taken a battering in recent weeks, and perhaps fairly so, given that they are currently 15th in the Premier League.
But that doesn't mean that they don't possess valuable talent.
According to Transfermarkt, Arteta's squad is worth a staggering £569m, with £45m duo Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang deemed the most valuable.
On the other hand, Dundalk's entire squad is valued at just £1.73m – a fraction less than Alex Runar Runarsson and a third of Sokratis.
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A post shared by Dundalk FC (@dundalkfc_)
Arsenal's social media reach is huge, boasting millions of fans around the entire world.
The Gunners have an enormous 18.7million Instagram followers, with fans able to view match and training pictures, throwback videos and exclusive content with the players.
Dundalk, meanwhile, have a loyal band of 26.5k followers – and their account isn't verified.
For context, this is under a third of the number that Arsenal's Spanish language Twitter account possesses alone.
Arsenal recently welcomed 2,000 fans back for their match against Rapid Vienna last week.
The small number were dwarfed within the 60,704 capacity Emirates Stadium.
But at Dundalk, they'd have filled almost two thirds of the entire seating capacity.
The charming Oriel Park is a throwback, with a rickety, traditional main stand and a seating capacity of 3,100.
With additional standing room, the ground can reach 4,500 attendees.
But unfortunately, locals won't be able to sample tonight's treat because of the ongoing pandemic – and the match will take place at the Aviva Stadium instead.
While he's struggled a tad to find his shooting boots this season, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains the main man at Arsenal.
The Gabonese star hoisted the FA Cup as captain in August, and will be an integral figure if Arteta is to turn things around this season.
Aubameyang, 31, has only managed three goals in all competitions so far this term.
But since joining the Gunners in January 2018, he has gobbled up 74 in 122 games.
As for Dundalk, Patrick Hoban is usually the club's dangerman and leading marksman.
The 29-year-old had a difficult spell in England, failing to regularly find the net at Oxford United, Stevenage, Mansfield Town and Grimsby Town.
But something just works for him at Dundalk, having bagged 96 goals in 174 games across two spells for the club, including against Rapid Vienna in their narrow 4-3 defeat last month.
Unfortunately, Hoban will be missing for tonight's game, having undergone season-ending ankle surgery.
Arsenal have won plenty of trophies across their long and illustrious history.
But Dundalk have won more.
The Gunners boast 13 league titles, a record 14 FA Cups, two League Cups and a League Centenary Trophy across their proud domestic record.
And they've also won in Europe, having secured the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1970 and the Uefa Cup Winner's Cup in 1994.
Dundalk, however, have held a stranglehold over much of the recent history of Irish football.
They've won five of the last six league titles, taking their overall tally to 14.
And to that they add 12 FAI Cups, seven League Cups, seven Leinster Senior Cups, two First Division titles, two President's Cups and one All-Ireland Champions Cup.
You can only beat what's put out in front of you.
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