Arsenal host Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, after a good result against Liverpool kept their unbeaten run going over the weekend.
After keeping their drive for the Premier League top four going on Saturday, Arsenal return to the Europa League, where they have the chance to secure top spot in the group against Sporting Lisbon. A win against their Portuguese opponents would guarantee Arsenal finishing first, as long as Vorskla drop points to Qarabag.
Even if Vorskla win, the odds of them overtaking the Gunners would be very small. The Ukrainian side would have to beat Arsenal by two goals, then beat Sporting Lisbon in Portugal while the Gunners lost to Qarabag at home.
As a result, you’d expect Unai Emery to take this game very seriously. Being able to rest players during the trip to FC Vorskla later this month could be vital, as Arsenal play Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, just three days later. However, the Gunners do have a match against Wolves this weekend to think about.
Let’s have a look at our predicted lineup for the Sporting clash.
After a fiery encounter with Blackpool saw Matteo Guendouzi very harshly dismissed, the 19-year-old should come back to the starting lineup against Sporting Lisbon. He played 90 minutes in Arsenal’s last two Europa League fixtures, and with Mohamed Elneny out and Ainsley Maitland-Niles at left-back, there are very limited options here.
For the same reason, we expect Aaron Ramsey to drop back into the midfield two. It’s the position he’s better in regardless, and it allows Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira to have a rest after their star performances against Liverpool.
Ahead of Guendouzi and Ramsey, Emile Smith Rowe should get another Europa League opportunity. He missed out in the Lisbon away game, but injuries, rotation and a League Cup goal against Blackpool open up the door for his return to the team.
Click ‘Next’ for Forwards and our Full Predicted Starting XI