Another night of football beckons tomorrow as Sporting CP take on Arsenal in the Estadio Jose Alvalade. Both teams are ready to get into the knockout round and this match is important for that reason. Both have ammased six points each in Group E and so this means that the winner of this match will qualify automatically for the knockout round.
The Portuguese giants have been to the Europa League 7 times in the last 9 seasons and so are vastly experinced in the competition. This is not a perfect record as they have failed to make it to the latter stages since 2011/2012 season.
They have a good European competition record on home soil, winning their last three matches at the Estadio Jose Alvalade and this is even without conceding! At last count its 28 matches unbeaten at home.
With previous wins against Vorskla Poltava, which was a 2 -1 win and Qarabag which was a 2-0 win, Sporting will be looking to do some damage to Arsenal.
Rafinha and Bas Dost are both nursing knocks, and will be on observation right up until the day of the game. Montero, Bruno Cesar and Romain Salin are expected to be given starting nods.
Sporting C.P possible starting lineup against Arsenal
Salin; Gaspar, Coates, Mathieu, Jefferson; Nani, Fernandes, Gudelj, Acuna, Mane; Montero
Arsenal coach Unai Emeryhas won this competition thrice with Sevilla and will be looking to do the same with his new club Arsenal.
Arsenal are riding on the back of an impressive league form which stands at 10 consecutive wins so far this season. Arsenal are also the joint top scoring side in the Europa league this season with 7 goals. The second joint top scoring team is Bayern Leverkusen.
Sokratis and Goalkeeper Peter Cech are both close to returning to first-team action following injuries, with the latter in line to come back into the side on Thursday.
Danny Welbeck has started both the two previous Europa games and is in line to start tomorrow.
Arsenal possible starting lineup against Sporting CP
Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Sokratis, Lichsteiner; Elneny, Guendouzi; Smith Rowe, Ramsey, Welbeck; Aubameyang
Head to Head
Sporting have never met Arsenal in a UEFA competition. Arsenal however travelled to meet a Portugal, Braga in 2008-2009 Champions league season and the Gunners were defeated by two goals to nil.