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Arsenal at Sporting Lisbon: Thursday night magic

The Gunners resume their Europa League campaign.

Sporting CP v Arsenal FC: Round of 16 Leg One - UEFA Europa League Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Arsenal resume their Europa League campaign today with a trip to Sporting Lisbon in the Round of 16. The Portuguese side are in good form and currently sit 4th in La Primeira Liga with four wins from their last five as they try to chase down Braga in 3rd for a spot in the Champions League playoff rounds. The Gunners have won four straight, including two matches in which they scored stoppage time goals to secure the points.

The Gunners are among the betting favorites to lift the trophy in May, but with a legitimate shot at a Premier League title, it remains to be seen how many of his first-choice players Mikel Arteta will use going forward. The league is likely the first priority, but silverware is silverware. And whichever players are selected will give everything they have — that’s just how they’re wired.

Expect less rotation than you’d like to see, I think. Arteta has consistently deployed strong lineups for the Europa League with a bit of rotation for his key players and a fair few first-choice names. We should see Jakub Kiwior make his first team debut. For more on how Arsenal might line up, check Nathan’s Predicted XI post.

Mikel Arteta’s lineup selection will also be complicated by Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah, and Leandro Trossard all missing out with injury. That’s the first, second, and third choice striker for those of you keeping track at home. Gabriel Jesus traveled with the team and may make the bench, but it’s more likely he went along only to continue training with the first team as he works back towards full fitness. Kieran Tierney did not travel with the team due to illness. UPDATE: Martin Ødegaard misses out with illness, too.

Arsenal - Turner, White, Saliba, Kiwior, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Xhaka, Vieira, Saka, Martinelli, Nelson

Sporting Lisbon - Adán; Inácio, Coates, St. Juste; Esgaio, Gonçalves, Morita, Reis; Edwards, Paulinho, Trincao

WHAT: Arsenal at Sporting CP
WHEN: Thursday, March 9th, 12:45pm EST/9:45am PST/5:45pm BST
WHERE: José Alvalade Stadium, Lisbon, Portugal
HOW TO WATCH: Streaming on the Paramount+ platform.

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