On Thursday night, Arsenal hosts Sporting CP at the Emirates Stadium in the Europa League last-16 second leg. The first leg in Lisbon finished 2-2, so both teams will hope to progress to the last eight of the competition.Arsenal form guide
Mikel Arteta’s team extended their recent unbeaten run to six games in all competitions by recording a 3-0 win at London rivals Fulham last time out. The win also saw the Gunners score at least two goals for the fifth time in their previous six matches.
As well as having an excellent domestic season, Arsenal also has an excellent recent record in the Europa League, winning five of their last seven games in European football’s secondary competition.
The Gunners are unbeaten in their last five home matches in the Europa League, too, having won their last three European games on home soil.Sporting CP form guideLike their hosts, the Portuguese giants go into this big clash on the back of a stellar recent run of form, as the visitors are unbeaten in seven competitive games, having recorded five wins. Last time out, Sporting recorded a 3-0 win over Boavista.Sporting has a slightly inconsistent record in the Europa League, though, as although they are three games unbeaten in the competition, Ruben Amorim’s team has won just once in their last four European games.The visitors from the Portuguese capital have won just two of their last six away games in the Europa League.
Latest team newsArsenal is still without Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny through injury, while striker Eddie Nketiah is also an injury doubt. Sporting is expected to be without Daniel Braganca due to a long-term injury. Antonio Adan and Hector Bellerin are also fitness doubts.
What am I backing?This could be a fantastic game of football between two strong attacking teams. However, I am backing Arsenal to edge the victory and book their place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.