Sporting vs Arsenal. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more

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Could Sporting build up an advantage before travelling to the Emirates Stadium?

Sporting CP will host Arsenal FC in the UEFA Europa League 1/8 final first-leg match at José Alvalade Stadium. The fixture will take place on March 9, beginning at 23:15 IST.

What can we expect this Thursday night? Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Sporting News & Current Form:

Sporting have gained momentum recently – the club is now on a winning streak. However, the Green and Whites are not yet in contention for high places in the domestic championship – the team is off to a very weak start. The club occupies only fourth place in the Liga Portugal and are 15 points behind the leading side SL Benfica, despite winning their last three matches. 

Last weekend, Lisbon beat a modestly-ranked Portimonense SC away (1:0). In the Europa League 1/16 finals, the Lions beat Denmark’s FC Midtjylland (1-1, 4-0).

The squad of Sporting celebrating a victory over Portimonense SC in Liga Portugal

The match against Arsenal is one of the most interesting matches in the second round of the Europa League playoffs. Sporting are obviously unlucky to be facing one of the main favourites in the tournament. Nevertheless, the Portuguese are capable of withstanding a home defeat. 

Already familiar to North London after facing Tottenham Hotspur FC in the UEFA Champions League group stage, Sporting’s attempts to beat Spurs and Eintracht Frankfurt for a place in the top two were in vain, and as a result, they settled for third place and a trip to the second-ranked tournament in Europe.

The Lions’ victory over Midtjylland in the second leg of the play-off round was not ideal for the team as midfielder Manuel Ugarte will miss Thursday’s game due to a suspension. With Daniel Bragança still recovering from a torn cruciate ligament, 19-year-old Argentine star player Mateo Tanlongo should appear in the starting line-up alongside Hidemasa Morita. There are no other injury or disqualification problems with the team.

Pedro Porro moved to Tottenham from Sporting in the winter transfer window. But the place was not left empty. He has been replaced by Hector Bellerin, a familiar player to Arsenal fans. Maybe he’ll feature in the game against Arsenal, or maybe he’s not ready for it yet. We will soon see.

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Arsenal News & Current Form: 

The Londoners lead the English Premier League by five points over their nearest rivals, but they cannot entirely ignore the hot breath of Manchester City FC. In the last round, the Gunners were close to failing at home to relegated AFC Bournemouth, losing by two goals midway through the second half.

They only managed to pull out a 3-2 win in the eighth added minute when Reiss Nelson, who stepped up a couple of minutes earlier, scored. Surprisingly, Nelson had played only 84 minutes all season. Thomas Partey and Ben White also scored goals.

In the group stage of the Europa League, Mikel Arteta’s side beat the Dutch PSV, the Norwegian FK Bodø/Glimt and the Swiss FC Zürich and had 15 points from a possible 18. The club did not participate in the 1/16 finals stage, therefore.

The Gunners, with their current squad, contend for victory in every competition they take part in, but their priority at the moment is winning the English Premier League. The Londoners are underperforming on the road in the new year, with only one win over Aston Villa FC in their previous four encounters, and they have not even scored more than a goal in other games.

Arsenal’s young talent Bukayo Saka hugging the star of the game against Bournemouth Reiss Nelson

Arteta is at risk of being without his three main central attacking options after Leandro Trossard came off the pitch with a groin problem in the first half against Bournemouth. Initial examinations have ruled out a serious injury, but the Belgian is likely to miss the match along with Gabriel Jesus and Mohamed Elneny, while ankle problem of Eddie Nketiah is unlikely to go away by Thursday. 

Gabriel Martinelli should therefore take on the burden of scoring goals in the number nine position, allowing Emile Smith-Rowe, who came off the bench against Bournemouth and was then replaced by Nelson, to make his first start of the season at left-wing.

Sporting form guide: L-D-W-W-W-W

Arsenal form guide: D-L-W-W-W-W

Sporting vs Arsenal Head-To-Head Record: 

  • October 29, 1969: Sporting 0 – 0 Arsenal (Fairs Cup);
  • November 26, 1969: Arsenal 3  – 0 Sporting (Fairs Cup);
  • October 25, 2018: Sporting 0 – 1 Arsenal (UEFA Europa League);
  • November 8, 2018: Arsenal 0 – 0 Sporting (UEFA Europa League).

Sporting vs Arsenal Predicted XI:

Sporting possible starting lineup (3-4-2-1): Adan; Inacio, Coates, St. Juste; Esgaio, Tanlongo, Morita, Reis; Edwards, Paulinho, Goncalves.

Arsenal possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Turner; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Jorginho; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Martinelli.

Statistical preview of the match Sporting vs Arsenal:

  • Sporting’s First XI average age is 25.9 yrs.
  • Arsenal’s First XI average age is 25.0 yrs.
  • Arsenal have won their last 4 matches.
  • Sporting are victorious in their last 4 matches.
  • Arsenal conceded an average of 1.40 goals per game in their last 5 games.
  • Arsenal are scoring an average of 2.60 goals per game in their last 5 games.
  • Arsenal are scoring in their last 6 games.
  • Sporting conceded an average of 0.60 goals per game in their last 5 games.
  • Sporting scored an average of 2.20 goals per game in their last 5 games.
  • Sporting did not concede in their last 3 games.
  • Sporting score in their last 8 games.
  • Arsenal have not lost to Sporting in European competitions yet.
  • Sporting have lost only one of their last 7 home Europa League games.
  • Arsenal have lost only 2 of their last 14 away matches in the Europa League.
  • Sporting have won 8 of their last 10 home games.
  • Arsenal are victorious in 28 of their last 37 matches.
  • Sporting score in the second half in their last 5 home matches.
  • Arsenal scored in the second half in their last 4 games.
  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 10 away matches.
  • In the last 4 games Sporting scored first.
  • Arsenal were the last team to score in their last 4 matches.

What has been said before the match:

Coach of Sporting Ruben Amorim ahead of the great clash with Arsenal:

“Arsenal are out of this world and we well know the spirit in their camp. They are eager to win every match and that’s why they’ve been able to win right at the death. You saw how they celebrated the victories. We are up against an Arsenal side in great shape and we know it will be very difficult.”

But is this match impossible to win? I don’t think so and I want my players to believe that. It requires a lot of luck, but because we have been so unlucky this season, maybe luck will be on our side in these games. 

Gunners coach Mikel Arteta about choosing the right squad for the game:

“We will try to keep picking the team we believe is the best to win on the day, because if you do something different people will say: ‘Why did you pick this team and we didn’t win in the Europa League?’ We’re going to pick the players that are in the best possible condition, because it’s really important to win the game to be in a better condition to win the next one.”

Sporting vs Arsenal Prediction:  

Sporting have been scoring frequently of late, with a goal difference of 11-3 in five recent fixtures. At the same time, Arsenal rarely leave the pitch with a clean sheet — twice in nine games. At the same time, the Londoners have a habit of showing character: over the last four games they have achieved two hard-fought victories over Aston Villa (4-2) and Bournemouth (3-2). So, even if the visitors concede first, it’s unlikely to be a problem for Saka and Co.

We must also take into account that Sporting play unimpressive at home in European competitions: just one home win and two defeats in four games. And the team are also underperforming in top-flight games, having lost twice in a row to Porto a month ago.

At the same time, men of Mikel Arteta are excellent on the road. The Gunners lead the EPL in away points, while the home stands in England are a real 12th player. As for UEL: the Red and Whites have achieved two away victories in three group-stage matches.

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Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: both teams to score and Arsenal to win – Yes.