On Thursday night, Arsenal host Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League, as the Gunners look to book their place in the knockout stages of the competition.
Arsenal have won all three of their group games so far and would book their place in the next round with a victory. The team from north London are now on a 14-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Last time out in the Europa League, Unai Emery’s side recorded a 1-0 win at Sporting in the Gunners toughest game on paper in Group E. The team from north London have been hard to beat in this competition of late, as they have suffered just one defeat in nine outings. The one defeat was in a crucial 1-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid last season in the semi-final second leg.
The home side has a decent record on home soil in the Europa League, winning five of their eight games at home while suffering just one defeat.
Sporting’s form has been inconsistent of late and the team from the Portuguese capital currently sit third in their domestic league. However, the visitors are second place in the group, but a big win could put them in pole position to top the group.
Sporting’s recent results in the Europa League have been inconsistent just like their general form, as the visitors have won four and lost three of their last seven games in 90 minutes in this competition. The visitor’s recent games in European football’s secondary competition have been low scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in six of their last seven games.
The Portuguese side has a poor recent away record in the Europa League, as they have won just three of their last 19 games on their travels.
Carl Jenkinson, Konstantinos Mavropanos and Mohamed Elneny remain on the casualty list for the Gunners. Laurent Koscielny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are just returning to fitness, while Nacho Monreal and Sokratis are doubts. The likes of Alex Iwobi, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck are all likely to start.
Sporting are without Raphinha, Stefano Sturaro and Stefan Ristovski through injury, while Emiliano Viviano is a doubt to face his former club as is Rodrigo Battaglia and Abdoulaye Diaby.
Arsenal are favourites to win this clash at odds of 3/10, while the draw is odds of 5/1 and Sporting are odds of 10/1 to record a victory in north London.
Arsenal should have enough quality to record a win that would see them through to the knockout stages with ease.
Will Arsenal record a victory against Sporting on Thursday night?