After Arsenal failed to bring 3 points back to England on Thursday. As they played 2-2 against Sporting CP in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage.
The second-leg will come into play next Thursday at the Emirates Stadium. Of course, Mikel Arteta’s troops are expected to stay strong.
Sporting CP have been unbeaten against English opponents in European competitions this campaign.
Therefore, they continued their unbeaten streak against the North London clubs, after their 2-2 draw in Portugal.
Sporting’s last three against English’s oppositions:
- 2-0 vs Tottenham
- 1-1 vs Tottenham
- 2-2 vs Arsenal
In all fairness, it’s going to be a tough and interesting 90 minutes at the Emirates Stadium next Thursday.
William Saliba on Arsenal’s 2-2 draw against Sporting CP:
“It wasn’t an easy game. As always, we never gave up and come back”
“We are lucky we have a second game at home and we will give everything to win next week”
The Gunners almost lost 2-1 to the Portuguese side, if not for Hidemasa Morita’s own goal. That’s why the second-leg would be tough.
Nevertheless, the likes of Bukayo Saka and Fábio Vieira were at their best against Sporting CP.
According to WhoScored, Saka successfully completed 8 dribbles against the Portuguese team on Thursday.
Also, only he (9) has provided more assists than Vieira (6) for the Gunners in all competitions this campaign.
Arsenal player ratings vs Sporting CP:
Bukayo Saka – 7.8
Granit Xhaka – 7.8
William Saliba – 7.5
Fábio Vieira – 7.4
Reiss Nelson – 7.3
Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7.3
Jorginho – 6.7
Gabriel Martinelli – 6.6
Matt Turner – 6.4
Ben White – 6.2
Jakub Kiwior – 6.1
Takehiro Tomiyasu – 7.3
Thomas Partey – 6.9
Gabriel Magalhães – 6.7
Smith Rowe – 6.5
What’s the good news for Arsenal ahead of next Thursday?
Well, the Gunners are most likely to capitalize on this particular good news at the Emirates Stadium in the UEL second-leg.
Sporting CP’s midfielder, Hidemasa Morita, who scored an own goal in the first-leg, won’t be available to play in England.
The midfielder is suspended for the second-leg against the North London club as a result of an accumulation of yellow cards.
Of course, that’s some good news for Mikel Arteta’s men. Despite scoring an own goal, Hidemasa Morita frustrated the Gunners.
As a result, the Premier League side is expected to command the midfield in his absence, with Thomas Partey.
Also, Sporting’s captain, Sebastian Coates, is suspended for the UEFA Europa League second-leg at the Emirates Stadium.
He was booked for a yellow in the first leg, so his unavailability is most likely to affect his team’s performance in England.
Sebastian Coates was unbeatable defensively for Sporting CP in the 3-at-the-back formation.
His absence may pave the way for the likes of Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson, and other attackers next Thursday.
Would Gabriel Jesus be available?
The former Manchester City striker would miss the UEFA Europa League second-leg on Thursday.
Of course, he didn’t travel with the squad for the first-leg to Portugal. Even though he’s already back in training with the squad.
Nevertheless, he still won’t be available to face Sporting CP at the Emirates Stadium, as Reiss Nelson is available.
Mikel Arteta claimed that he would be back after the international break. So, he would be available in April, possibly against Leeds United in the league.