Sporting Lisbon v Arsenal preview, duo ruled out, Jenkinson to start + prediction

By on October 25, 2018

sokratis arsenal 2018

Arsenal are in Portugal ahead of our Europa League group stage encounter with Sporting Lisbon this evening and we can put one foot in the knockout stages with a win.

Unai Emery’s men have already seen-off Vorskla and Qarabag in our first two Group E games so we can put ourselves on the verge of qualification to the knockouts with another victory at the Estádio José Alvalade later today [kick-off is 5.55pm].

We sit top of the group but only goal difference separates us from Sporting Lisbon as they’ve also secured six points from their first two matches so the upcoming double-header will determine who finishes top.

Arsenal should be full of confidence right now as we come in to the game off the back of a superb 10-match winning run following Monday night’s comeback win over Leicester City.

Team News

We have issues at left-back again as Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac have stayed in London to nurse hamstring injuries but Sokratis is back in contention after overcoming an ankle problem that he picked up on international duty.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Petr Cech are back in full training but aren’t in the squad. Laurent Koscielny is also in full training again but he’s still a few weeks away from being available for selection after so long on the sidelines.

Sporting could be without Bas Dost and Raphinha due to injury problems but Jeremy Mathieu is expected to return.

Preferred line-up

Emery will rotate his squad ahead of Sunday’s trip to Crystal Palace and we should see the likes of Mo Elneny, Matteo Guendouzi, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck recalled with Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette rested.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored four times off the bench in our last two games so he deserves to start up front while I’d like to see Alex Iwobi keep his place in attack so he can build on his recent excellent form.

No doubt Emery will start Hector Bellerin at right-back with Stephan Lichtsteiner on the left but I’d like to see Bellerin rested with Carl Jenkinson given his first start since 2016. We shouldn’t take any chances with Hector and Jenks has travelled so we might as well use him.

This would be my line-up:

football formations

As for Sporting, they could line-up: Salin; Gaspar, Coates, Mathieu, Jefferson; Nani, Fernandes, Gudelj, Acuna, Mane; Montero

Predicted Score

Sporting can be a dangerous side at home with their passionate fans behind them but they come in to the match off the back of two defeats in their last three league games. Compare that to Arsenal and our 10-match winning run and it’s clear we’re the in-form side and even our B-team should have too much quality for them. Football betting site Fifa55 are among those predicting a close game, but I’m going to back the boys to continue our winning run with a narrow 2-1 win. Sporting Lisbon 1-2 Arsenal