It’s all to play for on Thursday as Arsenal vs Sporting CP in the second leg of their Europa League last 16 clash.
- Location: London, England
- Stadium: Emirates Stadium
- Date: Thursday 16 March
- Kick-off Time: 20:00 GMT / 16:00 ET / 13:00 PT
- Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
- VAR: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
Arsenal vs Sporting CP: Match Preview:
Last week’s meeting between these two in Portugal ended 2-2 and so, with no away goals these days, it’s a real winner-takes-all affair as two of Europe’s most famous sides battle for a spot in the quarter-finals of the competition.
Arsenal head into this one having thumped Fulham 3-0 last time out, but Sporting are full of confidence themselves after matching that scoreline at home to Boavista.
Mikel Arteta will likely continue his European rotation that will see the likes of Fabio Vieira and Takehiro Tomiyasu return to Arsenal’s starting lineup, although the boss may keep more of his starters around in anticipation of a tricky game. With Crystal Palace on the cards at the weekend, it’s a risk he can afford to take.
In terms of fitness issues, Eddie Nketiah’s ankle injury continues to be problematic and Mohamed Elneny is also out for the season.
Arteta had ruled both Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus out of the Fulham game, only for both players to feature – the former even started – so the Spaniard’s team updates evidently must be taken with a pinch of salt.
Midfielder Hidemasa Morita, who scored the own goal last week, will not get the chance to atone for his mistake as he is suspended. But his place in midfield will instead be taken by the returning Manuel Ugarte, whose own ban is now over.
Centre-back Sebastian Coates is also suspended, while former Gunner Hector Bellerin will likely be denied a reunion because of a knee injury.
Arsenal vs Sporting CP: Head to Head:
- The two teams have met five times thus far, with three meetings taking place in the Europa League. Arsenal have enjoyed an unbeaten run against the visitors, winning twice and drawing the remaining three games.
- Sporting scored for the first time against Arsenal in the first leg.
- Three of the five meetings between the two teams have produced under 2.5 goals.
- Both teams have endured identical results in their last six games across all competitions, recording five wins in that period and playing out a draw.
Arsenal predicted lineup (4-3-3): Turner; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Jorginho, Partey, Vieira; Saka, Trossard, Smith Rowe.
Sporting CP predicted lineup (3-4-3): Adan; St. Juste, Inacio, Reis; Esgaio, Ugarte, Goncalves, Santos; Edwards, Paulinho, Trincao.
ARS vs SCP: Fantasy XI
Adan; Inacio, Tomiyasu, Saliba, Jorginho, Partey, Goncalves, Saka, Trossard, Smith Rowe, Paulinho.