Ahead of their Europa League last-16 tie with Sporting Lisbon, Gabriel Jesus participated in a frozen Arsenal training session. The Brazilian, who has been sidelined with a ligament injury since the World Cup, is not expected to return until after the international break. However, his progress will boost the morale of the squad. The Gunners are preparing for their first leg tie in Portugal on Thursday evening.
Arsenal faced a nervous wait on three players who failed to take part in training 24 hours before the clash with Sporting. Kieran Tierney, Eddie Nketiah, and Leandro Trossard were all absent from the session on Wednesday due to illness and injury. This could mean that Reiss Nelson, who scored a dramatic late winner against Bournemouth, is given an opportunity from the start. Mikel Arteta will be hoping to carry the momentum of four Premier League wins in a row into European competition.
Arsenal topped their group, so they did not have to come through the play-off round of the Europa League. They are among the favourites to lift the trophy along with Manchester United and Juventus. However, managing European demands along with the Premier League could prove tough as they go deeper in the competition. Domestically, the Gunners hold a five-point lead over Manchester City with 12 games remaining.
The Gunners are hoping to take a first-leg lead back to London after their trip to Lisbon before a derby with Fulham. The return of Gabriel Jesus will be a significant boost for Arsenal as they look to progress in the Europa League and maintain their position in the Premier League table.