Europa League round of 16 draw: Arsenal to face Sporting Lisbon

Arsenal have been drawn with Sporting Lisbon for the round of 16 stage of the Europa League.

The Gunners topped their Europa League standings ahead of PSV Eindhoven back in November and therefore avoided an extra round of matches.

Hence, they will begin their knockout campaign from the last 16 phase against Sporting. The first leg is set to be played in Lisbon on the 9th of March.

The north London giants will welcome Sporting to the Emirates Stadium seven days later.

Arsenal favourites to reach Europa League quarter-finals

The Gunners had a potentially tricky draw on the cards where they could have faced the likes of Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen, Union Berlin and Roma.

The club will obviously need to beat the best at some point, but getting a slightly easier tie early on allows the manager with more room to rotate his squad.

Against Lisbon, Mikel Arteta could take the opportunity to bench some regular starters. Kieran Tierney, Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe should feature.

Based on the outcome of the away leg, Arteta may choose his line-up for the return fixture at the Emirates.

Arsenal have only two competitions to concentrate for the rest of the campaign, but it can’t be denied that the Premier League will be given the higher priority.

The club have a wonderful chance to win the top-flight title after 19 long seasons, and this could have an influence on Arteta’s decision-making in Europe.

Regardless of the team picked for the last 16 ties, the Gunners should easily progress to the quarter-final stage.

It would come as a shock if Sporting manage an upset. However, this cannot be ruled out, considering Arsenal’s surprise exit against Olympiacos few years ago.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe for notification