Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 8th November 2018

Unai Emery’s Arsenal welcome Tiago Fernandes’ Sporting Lisbon to the Emirates Stadium for a UEFA Europa League group game on Thursday night. The Gunners are flying high at the top of Group E having taken nine points from a possible nine so far. Victory for Emery’s men in this one will send them through to the Round of 32 with two games spare, potentially giving them even more scope to rotate their squad and give youngsters some game time.

After the recent sacking of Jose Peseiro, Fernandes has taken temporary charge of the Portuguese outfit. It’s been a turbulent season for the Lisbon giants, who sit third behind Porto and Braga in the Primeira Liga table. The Green and Whites are capable of causing the Gunners problems in London, but Arsenal’s qualities should shine through in the end, especially given the brilliant run they are on and the confidence that has engendered.

Top Tips

Arsenal to Win to Nil @ 21/20

Arsenal to Win 2-0 @ 11/2

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Arsenal News: Excellent Start to Life in London for Emery

Exterior of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium Pre Match
Paul Hudson, flickr

Emery began his career at Arsenal with back-to-back Premier League defeats. The Gunners were beaten 2-0 at home by champions Manchester City on the opening weekend of the season before losing 3-2 to London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a week later. Since, then, however, the Gunners have been on a remarkable run, winning 12 and drawing two of their following 14 league and cup matches.

Before drawing 2-2 at Crystal Palace last month, Arsenal had won a staggering 11 games in a row in all competitions. Emery’s men, who held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw last weekend, will be looking for their 13th win of the season on Thursday.

Maximum Points in Group E for the Gunners

Arsenal kicked off their Europa League campaign with an easy 4-2 win over Ukrainian outfit Vorskla Poltava, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil getting the goals. The Londoners followed that up with a comfortable 3-0 away win at Qarabag, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Emile Smith Rowe and Matteo Guendouzi on the scoresheet. A Welbeck goal was then enough to seal a 1-0 win in Lisbon a fortnight ago to put the Gunners three points clear at the top of Group E.

Arsenal’s Strikeforce a Joy to Watch

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have struck up an excellent partnership in attack under Emery. The pair do not always play as two central strikers, but they are never too far apart. Lacazette has helped himself to six goals so far, including the leveller against Liverpool last weekend. Meanwhile, Aubameyang has scored nine times, a great return after a relatively slow start to this campaign. Danny Welbeck has also upped his game under his new manager, scoring five goals this term, with two of those coming in the Europa League.

Short on Numbers at the Back

Arsenal have been hit with several injuries this season, and the Gunners will be without some key defenders for Thursday’s game. Laurent Koscielny (achilles tendon), Nacho Monreal (hamstring) and Sokratis (ankle) are all likely to miss out. Meanwhile Konstantinos Mavropanos is still recovering from a groin strain while Mohamed Elneny is sidelined with a thigh injury.

Sporting Lisbon News: Peseiro Sacked After Shock Defeat

Sporting Lisbon's Estadio Jose Alvalade
Edgar Jiménez, flickr

When these two sides went head-to-head two weeks ago, Jose Peseiro was in the Sporting dugout. However, after a shock home defeat in the Portuguese League Cup to second tier side Estoril last Wednesday, Peseiro was relieved of his duties at the Estadio Jose Alvalade. Lisbon have turned to Tiago Fernandes, who was assistant manager to Peseiro at the start of this season. Last weekend, the 18-time Portuguese champions made it back-to-back wins in the Primeira Liga, coming from behind to win 2-1 at Santa Clara and give themselves at least a little belief ahead of this difficult clash.

Dos Could Cause Problems in London

At the end of last season, several of Sporting’s players were attacked by their fans in a training ground bust-up. That led to a number of players parting company with the club over the summer, with the likes of Rui Patricio and Daniel Podence moving on. Despite initially wanting to leave, Bas Dost has stuck around, even signing a new contract in Lisbon. Dost has a remarkable goalscoring record at Sporting, and he netted in the 2-1 win against Santa Clara last weekend. The Dutchman will be hoping to cause Arsenal problems on Thursday.

A Few Injury Concerns for Lisbon

Goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano is back in training after picking up a neck injury at the start of the season. Meanwhile, Raphael Dias Belloli and Stefan Ristovski, who both have thigh injuries, could miss the trip to the English capital. Meanwhile, Rodrigo Andres Battaglia and Wendel are also doubts for the away side.

Analysis: Gunners to Make it Four Wins from Four in Europe

Arsenal have look excellent in the Europa League so far this season. Along with Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, the Gunners are among the favourites to lift the trophy. Given the difficulty of securing a top four spot in the Premier League, going all the way in this competition could be the best route into the Champions League for Emery and his men.

One more win will put the Gunners into the knockout rounds and three points on Thursday will take them six points clear of Sporting, who were always going to be Arsenal’s biggest rivals in the group. The visitors will no doubt have a go at the Emirates, but the home team should be too strong.

Gunners to Claim a Shutout

Arsenal have kept clean sheets in each of their last two European matches, beating Qarabag 3-0 before winning 1-0 in Lisbon. We fancy the Gunners to stop Sporting from scoring on Thursday, so take a punt on Arsenal to win to nil, which you can get 21/20.

Comfortable Victory for the Home Team

Back in September, Arsenal won consecutive home games in the Premier League 2-0, beating Everton and Watford by the same scoreline. Meanwhile, the Gunners have won by exactly two goals on six occasions across all competitions this season. Arsenal are available at 11/2 to win 2-0 on Thursday.

Welbeck to Net Again

As we touched on, former Man United man Welbeck has been given a new lease of life under Emery. The England international has certainly enjoyed himself in cup competitions this term, with four of his five goals coming in tournament games. Welbeck is available at 11/10 to score anytime on Thursday.

Recent Matches

These two sides have only ever met on three occasions over the years, with Arsenal prevailing in the second round of the 1969/70 Fairs Cup. The pair went 49 years without clashing before locking horns in Lisbon two weeks ago.

25th October 2018: Sporting Lisbon 0 – 1 Arsenal

It was a pretty even contest when Sporting and Arsenal met at the Estadio Jose Alvalade a fortnight ago. However, Arsenal dominated the ball and were worthy of their 1-0 win in the end. The Gunners had to wait until the 77th minute to make the breakthrough, with Welbeck’s low drive doing the business in the Portuguese capital.

7th January 1970: Sporting Lisbon 0 – 0 Arsenal

Arsenal got the job done in London as they successfully protected their three goal aggregate lead. The Gunners would end up going all the way in the competition, claiming their first every Inter-Cities Fairs Cup title. Although not UEFA recognised, FIFA considers the competition to be a major honour.

26th November 1969: Arsenal 3 – 0 Sporting Lisbon

Over 35,000 people showed up to Highbury to watch the first leg of Arsenal’s clash with Sporting Lisbon. A brace from future manager and club legend George Graham handed the Gunners an easy victory making them strong favourites to progress to the third round.

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