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Arsenal vs Benfica: Predictions
Arsenal clawed back a goal on Thursday night to earn themselves a 1-1 draw in Lisbon after Pizzi gave the hosts the lead from the penalty spot. Youngster Bukayo Saka added another goal to his name as the Gunners found themselves trailing early in the second-half, but it took Mikel Arteta’s side just two minutes to reply.
The Gunners have an away goal advantage, however, the Portuguese side will remain confident of scoring at the Emirates Stadium with Arteta’s side having only kept one clean sheet at home in the Europa League this season – against minnows Dundalk.
Arteta’s men suffered another league defeat on the weekend as Manchester City comfortably took the points despite the one-goal margin. The defeat extends the Gunners’ record to just one win in their last four games across all competitions but Arteta will view the Europa League as an opportunity to make history at the club.
Jan Vertonghen will face his former north London rivals after leaving Tottenham in the summer and the Belgian will be hoping to knock his former-rivals out of the competition. Vertonghen (2) recorded the joint-second most successful tackles last Thursday night and will be looking to make another positive impression this week.
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Arsenal vs Benfica: Match Stats
Arsenal’s defence has not looked convincing this season and the Gunners have only kept one clean sheet at home in the Europa League. Benfica are by far the best side Arteta’s side have come up against this season in the Europa League and the Gunners will have to sure up their defence if they hope to progress to the next round.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has only played 106 minutes in the Europa League this season, but against the Gabon-international will be expected to add to his one goal tally in the competition on Thursday as Arsenal look to progress. However, they face a Benfica side that has proven they can score goals in this competition with Pizzi on seven goals and Darwin Nunez on five.
18 February 2021 – Benfica 1-1 Arsenal – Europa League
23 October 1991 – Benfica 1-1 Arsenal – European Cup
06 November 1991 – Arsenal 1-3 Benfica – European Cup
Meetings between these two sides are few and far between, with only three games played in competitive football Benfica remain undefeated against the Gunners and will be hoping they can return to Portugal on Thursday night with that record still in tact.