Sporting CP vs Arsenal 09-03-23

Preview

On Thursday night, the ecstatic Gunners make their triumphant return to Europa League play as they travel to Sporting CP for the opening leg of their round of 16 matchups.

The Portuguese team qualified through the play-offs after being ousted from the Champions League. While Arsenal moved straight into the round of 16 after winning their group last fall. The team of Ruben Amorim came in third place in a group that included Tottenham, a longtime rival.

The Gunners are one of the strongest teams left in the competition and were saved from playing in the knockout stage playoffs after winning their group in the fall.

Sporting doesn’t have a good season in the Portuguese national league. They are only 4th on the table with five fewer points than Braga. So even Champions League qualifications are in doubt.

Still, Sporting won the last four matches in a row. Arsenal is magnificent this season. They are five points ahead of Manchester City in the Premier League.

Arsenal was in a crisis in the first part of February when they were winless in four games. Since then, Mikel Arteta’s team has won 12 points in four matches. On Saturday, Arsenal was fortunate to win 3-2 against Bournemouth.

Form Guide: Sporting CP

Sporting has won their past four games in all competitions, and they are in fantastic form going into this encounter.

Recent triumphs for the team include a notable 4-0 victory over FC Midtjylland in the second leg of their Europa League playoff, as well as a 1-0 victory against Portimonense last weekend, which was manager Ruben Amorim’s 100th victory for the team overall.

Nevertheless, Sporting’s hopes of completing a domestic and European double are undoubtedly baseless since they now sit in fourth position in the Primeira Liga standings, 15 points behind undisputed leaders Benfica despite winning their past three games in the top division.

Sporting won 1-0 at Portimonense on Saturday, their fourth straight victory across all competitions and a third straight clean sheet. Only two of their previous four home games across all competitions have resulted in victories. Paulinho’s goal in the 77th minute was all that was needed to give Sporting the victory.

Still waiting to add to their sole European triumph from the 1963-64 European Cup Winners’ Cup, Sporting’s only Europa League last-16 exist in its current format came against eventual winners Atletico Madrid in 2009-10

Form Guide: Arsenal

In order to advance further in the knockout stage playoffs, Arsenal had to skip an additional two games. Despite a humiliating 2-0 loss to PSV Eindhoven, the Gunners nevertheless won Europa League Group A with 15 points out of a possible 18.

Arsenal enters their encounter against Sporting CP on Thursday night in good spirits after pulling off an incredible comeback from a two-goal deficit. In a remarkable show of grit and talent, they defeated Bournemouth 3-2 in the Premier League to keep their five-point advantage over Manchester City at the top of the standings.

Arsenal will want to maintain their winning ways in the Europa League after this victory and build on their current momentum.

With 12 games left to play, Mikel Arteta’s young guns have held off Manchester City in the English Premier League since their last appearance in a continental match. However, without one of the most thrilling last-second goals the Emirates has ever seen, their unassailable lead would have been smaller.

After falling behind to Bournemouth’s goals from Philip Billing and Marcos Senesi, Arsenal fought back through Thomas Partey and Ben White before academy product Reiss Nelson sent the home crowd into a frenzy in the seventh minute of added time, sealing an improbable 3-2 victory and putting the Gunners’ title credentials to the test.

How the game could go

Sporting showed they could compete during the group stage of the Champions League, but based on their domestic record, Arsenal may be simply superior to the Portuguese team. But, the Gunners cannot stroll to victory with Arteta ready to switch up his pack.

The Sporting team under Amorim is doing well going into the match on Thursday. It would be intriguing to observe how the guests do against their strongest XI. Sporting is identical to the PSV team the Arsenal lost to 2-0 away from home last fall when a rotating side struggled at times.

Betting Predictions

Arsenal to Win

With their domestic form looking rock-solid again, Arsenal turns their attentions to the continent again on Thursday when they line up against Sporting Lisbon and the Gunners should have enough in their locker to establish a first-leg lead in this Round of 16 ties. Sporting has won only once at home in Europe this term, and that was against a poor Tottenham side back in September. Arsenal is a serious step up in class from their North London rivals and having won five of their last six matches in the Europa League, we’re tipping them to perform again. Bet9ja have 2.15, 1xbet have 2.16 and Paripesa have 2.16 odds.

BTTS (YES)

Our prediction dips into the goals markets and we’re backing both teams to register on Thursday evening. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is expected to make several changes to his XI in Portugal and with some disjointedness expected, Arsenal could concede for the third time in four Europa League away assignments. The Londoners have scored themselves, at least once in 11 of their last 14 fixtures however, so expect them to fight fire with fire at the Estádio José Alvalade. Bet9ja have 1.78 odds, Paripesa have 1.80, and 1xbet have 1.80 odds.

Anytime Goalscorer (Sporting Cp)

Pedro Goncalves

Pedro Goncalves is without a doubt Sporting CP’s most dangerous player. He’s their leading scorer in Liga Portugal with 12 strikes and has a further six assists to his name. His 18 goal involvements are by far the highest for Sporting CP. The forward scored twice in the Europa League second leg against Midtjylland, with his strikes effectively putting the game to bed. Bet9ja have 4.50 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 4.10.

Anytime Goalscorer (Arsenal)

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka has rediscovered his shooting boots after a mini-drought. He has hit double-figure goals and assists for Arsenal this season. He remains the League’s best winger arguably and we can see him replicating his form in today’s game. Rotation shouldn’t do a lot to him in this line-up and we know he will deliver the goals. Bet9ja have 4.00 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 3.60.

Nketiah

Eddie Nketiah is Arsenal’s top scorer in the competition, albeit with just two goals to his name. The young striker found himself on the bench for recent wins over Leicester and Everton following a slight drop in form, and Arteta then confirmed after his substitute appearance against the Toffees that the young striker had suffered a slight injury concern. That said, Arteta has stated, “he’s very positive about [the injury] and hopefully he’ll be fine.” He’ll look to lead the line in Portugal. Bet9ja have 3.70 odds for him to score while Paripesa have 3.10.

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