Let’s take a look at the team news as Arsenal host Sporting CP in the 2nd leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tie. The Gunners will be looking to finish off their opponents on Thursday after securing a valuable 2-2 draw in the first leg. Both teams are coming off 3-0 wins in their domestic leagues, with Arsenal defeating Fulham and Sporting CP triumphing over Boavista.
The North London side have been involved in several high-scoring matches this season, ranking second in the Premier League for being involved in 17 games that have had more than two goals. Despite a rough patch, they have won their last five league games and are currently leading the table with a five-point advantage over their only title rival, Manchester City.
On the other hand, the Portuguese side are not be in contention for the league title, as they are trailing way behind leaders Benfica. However, they are still fighting for a spot in the Champions League next season and have a lot of work to do to secure it. It is obvious that their focus is not solely on the Europa League. It will be a tough challenge for them to win in London, especially after failing to secure a win against Arteta’s men in the first leg.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had recently claimed that Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus would not be fit for the Fulham match, only for both the players to make appearances in the game. However, the club may have to deal with other injury concerns, with Eddie Nketiah possibly out until after the international break due to an ankle problem and Mohamed Elneny still sidelined due to knee surgery.
Fabio Vieira, who Arteta praised as Arsenal’s most dangerous player in the first-leg, could make a comeback in this game, along with Kieran Tierney, Emile Smith Rowe, Jorginho and goalkeeper Matt Turner. Despite some shaky moments in the first-leg, Turner is still in line for a start.
On the other hand, Sporting will be missing Hidemasa Morita and Sebastian Coates, both of whom picked up their third bookings. However, Manuel Ugarte is now available to play after suspension and is expected to replace Morita in midfield. Antonio Adan, Hector Bellerin, and Daniel Braganca are expected to miss the match for the Portuguese club.
Player To Watch: Pedro Goncalves
The Portuguese winger has been leading the team this season in a multitude of ways, especially in the scoring department. He is getting on the scoresheet regularly, taking down some of the most prominent oppositions. He has scored 16 goals this season in all competitions, while assisting nine times (stats via Transfermarkt).
Pedro Goncalves is adept at finding pockets of space between the opposition’s midfield and defence, making him a difficult player to mark. He possesses excellent technique, which allows him to dribble past defenders and create chances for himself and his teammates.
His vision and passing ability are also top-notch, as he can deliver through balls to unlock defences and set up high-quality scoring opportunities. He is a creative player who can dictate the tempo of the game by making use of attributes like quick feet, close control, and turn of pace.
Sporting CP Form:
Arsenal Predicted Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1):
Matt Turner (GK); Ben White (RB), William Saliba (CB), Gabriel (CB), Kieran Tierney (LB); Granit Xhaka (CDM), Jorginho (CDM); Bukayo Saka (RW), Fabio Vieira (CAM), Leandro Trossard (LW); Gabriel Martinelli (ST)
- Arsenal Planning a Sweet Swap Deal, Ready to Offer Out-of-Favour Scottish Left-back to Sign €30m Rated Italian Midfielder
- Arsenal Mark €28m Rated German Attacking Midfielder as a Serious Summer Target, Mikel Arteta Looking to Add Depth to the Squad
- Arsenal Planning to Lodge Summer Bid for €70m Rated Chelsea Forward, Arteta Keen to Re-unite With Winger
Arsenal 3-2 Sporting CP
Arsenal have been struggling in the defensive third, conceding simple goals lately, and they might not have much success this time too, with a restructured defence up against the sharp attacking unit of Sporting CP. But the Primeira Liga side have defensive issues themselves and Mikel Arteta’s men shouldn’t face much problem outscoring the opposition at home.
Follow AD for the Latest Matchday Updates for Arsenal.
The post The Gunners Looking to Outscore Portuguese Opposition to Secure Quarter-final Berth | Team News, Injury Updates, and Predicted Line-up – Arsenal vs Sporting CP appeared first on Arsedevils.
This post first appeared on ArseDevils, please read the originial post: here