Arsenal’s task is simple: beat Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates, advance to the Europa League quarterfinals. It remains an open question how much priority the Gunners should place on the Europa League generally, but for now, they should set out to win the match. Going out at this point of the competition, at home, would be an ego / morale blow to the club. Arsenal are in good form. There’s no reason to risk losing that.
The 2-2 draw between the clubs last week was an entertaining but not all that well played match. Arsenal were sloppy in possession and loose at the back. Mikel Arteta was not thrilled with how his team played, but it was about what you’d expect to get from a rotated side that isn’t entirely familiar with each other in game situations. The Gunners should look much better at home, especially after Arteta likely read the team some version of the riot act in training this week.
Barring any unexpected injury or availability issues, expect Arteta to rotate his side from the weekend. Arsenal are mostly healthy knock on wood. Mohamed Elneny is out for the season with a knee injury. Eddie Nketiah is several weeks away from his return. The Arsenal manager revealed that the striker is still in a walking boot.
Sporting will be without captain Sebastian Coates and midfielder Hidemasa Morita through yellow card suspension. Midfielder Manuel Ugarte returns from a suspension that kept him out for the first leg and should start.
Arsenal - Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Xhaka, Vieira, Nelson, Martinelli, Jesus
⚪️— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 16, 2023
Tomiyasu at the back
©️ Xhaka skippers the side
❤️ Gabby leading the line
Let’s do this - together! pic.twitter.com/oq6MSoLNRO
Sporting - Adan, Esgaio, Inacio, Diomande, St. Juste, M. Reis, Ugarte, Goncalves, Trincao, Edwards, Paulinho
WHAT: Arsenal vs Sporting CP
WHEN: Thursday, March 16th, 1:00 pm PT | 4:00 pm ET | 8:00pm BT
WHERE: The Emirates Stadium, London
HOW TO WATCH: Streaming live on the Paramount+ app.
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