Predicted Arsenal line-up vs Sporting Lisbon
Arsenal host Sporting Lisbon in the second leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie tonight.
The Gunners played out an entertaining 2-2 draw against the Portuguese outfit in the first leg in Lisbon. They were fortunate to come out of the game with a positive result.
With home advantage for the second leg, they should be favourites to progress to the last eight of the competition. In our view, manager Mikel Arteta could make four changes.
Matt Turner had an unconvincing display against Sporting on the road. His miscommunication with Jakub Kiwior led to Sporting’s first goal and he was also responsible for the second.
The USA international also struggled with his distribution but Arteta is likely to back him in goal again. Turner has been ever-present in the Cup competitions this term when fit and available.
In defence, we anticipate a couple of changes. Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko could make way for Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney in the full-back positions.
Tomiyasu has looked assured in his last two cameo appearances and could be rewarded with a starting role. Tierney is likely to start, having missed the first leg with an illness.
William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes should be nailed-on starters in central defence, particularly after Jakub Kiwior’s nervous debut at the Jose Alvalade Stadium last week.
In the centre of the park, Thomas Partey should get the nod over Jorginho again in the number six position.
However, we anticipate Fabio Vieira to start ahead of Granit Xhaka. The Portuguese had a superb display in the first leg and capped his performance with an assist for the opening goal.
Elsewhere, no changes are likely in attack. Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli should be guaranteed starters in the right and left-wing positions respectively for the Gunners.
Martin Odegaard was lively on Sunday after his bout of illness. The captain bagged the third goal in the derby win over Fulham and is expected to start in the number 10 role.
Leandro Trossard marked his return from injury with a brilliant hat-trick of assists in the first half at Craven Cottage. The Belgian is set to lead the line ahead of Gabriel Jesus.
Jesus had an impressive return to action after a prolonged break on Sunday. The Brazilian nearly found the back of the net but as Arteta said, he will need to earn his starting spot.
How Arsenal could line up vs Sporting Lisbon
Stats from Transfermarkt.com