Arsenal travel to Portugal only a few days after playing a Premier League match with Leicester. Their bodies might still be tired from the Monday’s duel, but their minds will be in the mood for more football. Why? Because Arsenal were fantastic in that game! It seems Sporting will have big problems on Thursday to get even a single point. They’re hoping that the support coming from the stands of Estadio Jose Alvalade will help them remain unbeaten in Europa League this season. But, do they have the right to hope for such a scenario? Find out in this Sporting vs Arsenal match preview!
Sporting are currently occupying the second place in the Group E of UEFA Europa League with 6 points after two rounds. The reason why they’re not on top is that Arsenal have a better goal difference. Sure, it would be nice to end the group stage on the leading position, but getting to the knockout stage is even more important. And it seems that neither Sporting nor Arsenal have to worry about that.
This means that there’s no pressure to win this game. Even a draw would suit them fine. But, do they have what it takes to grab even a single point? Well, the player quality is obviously on the side of the English team, but the question is will Emery pick his best team. If not, Sporting’s best eleven could give them a run for their money.
And the main reason why that seems plausible is that Sporting have been amazing at home. This team has won every single match played at their stadium this season, while they’re without a single defeat at Estadio Jose Alvalade in 2018. Actually, the last time they lost at home was in December 2016!
An even more impressive statistic is that Sporting managed to keep a clean sheet in 15 out of 20 home games they played in front of their own crowd. That makes them one of the best home sides in the world! But, do the Gunners care about that?
This Monday, Arsenal recorded their 10th-successive victory by beating former Premier League champions Leicester City by 3:1. What’s most impressive about that game is that we saw a truly breathtaking team spirit among Arsenal players, the culmination of which was when they scored their third goal, which is definitely one of the most beautiful goals of the season 2018/2019 so far.
But, the fact that the game was played on Monday evening means that Arsenal players might not be 100% fit and ready for the game with Sporting. I wouldn’t be surprised if Emery decided to leave some of them in London and bring some backup players to Portugal. Actually, I think that’s exactly what he will done.
Sure, he might give some youngsters a chance, but this doesn’t mean that they’re not good enough to bring Arsenal a win.
- Jeremy Mathieu (injury)
- Wendel (doubtful)
- Bas Dost (doubtful)
- Laurent Koscielny (injury)
- Konstantinos Mavropanos (injury)
- Petr Cech (doubtful)
- Sokratis (doubtful)
Salin – Coates, Pinto, Ristovski, Jefferson – Petrovic, Acuna, Fernandes, Nani, Battaglia – Acuna
Leno – Mustafi, Holding, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Kolasinac – Guendouzi, Ramsey, Xhaka – Welbeck, Maitland-Niles, Aubameyang
Sporting vs Arsenal Match Prediction
Rather than risking injuries, I think Emery will give some of his key men a rest and let some youngsters battle Sporting. As a result, they might not be able to keep Arsenal’s tremendous form running. But, then again, they probably won’t lose the match. A draw seems like the most plausible outcome.
Sporting vs Arsenal Betting Tips
- Draw @3.50 (bet365)
- Sporting +1.5 AH @1.27 (bet365)