Sporting Lisbon will be looking to upset Arsenal in their Europa League last-16 second leg match, despite the Gunners’ impressive form this season. Arsenal secured a 3-0 victory over Fulham on the weekend, with goals from Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard in the first half. This win also marked the team’s fifth consecutive away London derby win while keeping a clean sheet, making them the first team in football league history to achieve this feat. However, Arsenal will need to put their Premier League title aspirations on hold as they focus on overcoming their Europa League first leg hiccup against Sporting.
The second leg match is scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 16, at the Emirates Stadium in North London, which can host approximately 60,000 fans. The Gunners were held to a 2-2 draw when they played Sporting in the reverse fixture. The match will be broadcast live on BT Sport 2 in the UK, with coverage expected to commence from 7:15pm UK time, 45 minutes before kick-off. Subscription members of BT Sport can stream the entire action live via the BT Sport website or app. Alternatively, SunSport will provide minute-by-minute coverage of the whole match including build-up and reaction.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be delighted to almost have a full strength squad for the Sporting clash, with only Eddie Nketiah and Mohamed Elneny unavailable. Furthermore, Arteta could be tempted into providing Gabriel Jesus with his first start since November following his 11-minute cameo against Fulham. Meanwhile, Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim will be sweating over the fitness of Antonio Adan and ex-Gunners full-back Hector Bellerin who need assessments before the match. Furthermore, Captain Sebastian Coates and Hidemasa Morita are ruled out through suspension. However, Daniel Braganca could return to the fold as the midfielder is back in full training.
Despite Sporting’s impressive home record this season, having only lost twice at home all season, Arsenal are still considered favourites to progress to the quarter-final stage. Ladbrokes’ odds currently have Arsenal at 4/11 to win and 2/13 to qualify for the next round, while Sporting are at 15/2 to win and 4/1 to qualify.