Sporting will welcome Arsenal to the Estádio José Alvalade in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League round of 16 on Thursday.
The hosts booked their place in this round thanks to a 5-1 win on aggregate against Midtjylland in the knockout round playoffs. Arsenal finished as table toppers in Group A of the Europa League to qualify for the knockout stage after missing out on European football last season for the first time in 26 years.
The hosts have won their last four games in all competitions, keeping clean sheets in their last three games as well. In their previous outing, Paulinho’s second-half strike helped them record a 1-0 away win over Portimonense in the Primeira Liga on Saturday.
Arsenal have also won their last four games in all competitions. In their previous outing, they recorded an impressive comeback win over Bournemouth with Reiss Nelson scoring the winning goal deep into injury time.
Mikel Arteta’s men went two goals down by the 57th minute but managed to launch a strong comeback via goals from Thomas Partey, Ben White, and Reiss Nelson.
Sporting vs Arsenal Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
- The two teams have locked horns four times thus far, with a couple of meetings coming in the group stage of the Europa League 2018-19 edition and two meetings coming in the erstwhile Fairs Cup.
- The visitors are unbeaten in these games, recording a couple of wins while the remaining two games ended in goalless draws.
- Interestingly, the hosts have failed to score in these games.
- Arsenal had the second-best defensive record in the group stage of the Europa League, conceding three goals in six games.
- The hosts have scored 10 goals in their last four games in all competitions while the visitors have scored 12 goals in the same period.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last six meetings against Portuguese teams while the hosts have progressed into the next round in their previous six ties against English teams in European competitions.
- Sporting have lost five of their last nine European home games (W3 D1), conceding 18 goals in those defeats.
Sporting vs Arsenal Prediction
Leões looked solid in the knockout round playoffs, recording a 5-1 win on aggregate, and will be looking to continue that form in this match. They have just one win to their name in their last three home games.
The Gunners enjoyed an impressive run in the group stage of the Europa League, recording five wins while suffering just one defeat. They have recorded back-to-back wins in their last two away games and are likely to enjoy a solid outing.
Both teams head into the game on a four-game winning run and are expected to leave a good account of themselves. Arsenal will be playing their third game in nine days, so fatigue will be a factor. Nonetheless, they have enough squad depth to at least take home a point from the game.
Prediction: Sporting 2-2 Arsenal
Sporting vs Arsenal Betting Tips
Tip 1: Result – Draw
Tip 2: Goals – Over/Under 2.5 Goals – Over 2.5
Tip 3: Pedro Gonçalves to score or assist any time – Yes
Tip 4: At least a goal to be scored in the second half – Yes
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