There are some very intimidating places to play a soccer game in, and as was the case this past weekend in Argentina, that could go too far at times. When it comes to Arsenal, where they are going is somewhere entirely different, but the atmosphere will be something most players haven’t experienced before.

Arsenal’s Europa League game against Vorskla Poltava is about a 3,000 miles round trip to and from Ukraine. Usually, the travel alone has a way of affecting teams, but this trip will be something else. After risk of the game being moved or postponed, UEFA confirmed that the match will go on as scheduled Thursday at 12:55 PM ET amid freezing temperatures and the country being under martial law.

The English team is going to be in Ukraine and things are on shaky ground both on and off the field. On the field, temperatures are below freezing and parts of the pitch surface is caked in ice. That’s typically a problem in a game that’s played on the ground. During the game, the temperature is set to be as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

More seriously, ongoing political turmoil between Russia and Ukraine has caused Ukraine to institute martial law. After Russia seized three Ukrainian ships off the coast of Crimea, tension has escalated between the two nations and Ukraine enacted martial law for 30 days, believing it will help prevent future threats. Pretty much, Ukraine’s government and military will have all but complete control over people in the country for security reasons. Residents can be made to join Ukraine’s military and property could be seized.

Despite all this, Arsenal is still set to play in Ukraine against Vorskla on Thursday. Considering Arsenal plays Tottenham three days later and then play Manchester United three days after that, don’t expect Unai Emery to field a competitive lineup. While Arsenal is still competing with Sporting Lisbon for the group, Arsenal has already clinched a knockout stage berth.

[Daily Mail/Photo: @vorsklacomua]

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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