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Arsenal v Sporting: Betting tips, predictions, odds & match preview

Sporting CP vs Arsenal: Betting tips, predictions, odds & match preview

Arsenal welcome Sporting to the Emirates on Thursday for the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie, following an entertaining 2-2 in the Portuguese capital last week (8pm kick-off, UK time).

Mikel Arteta has Arsenal daring to dream of Premier League supremacy, but he will be just as invested in his side’s continental campaign, with a place in the Europa League quarter-finals up for grabs on Thursday. Events at the Estadio Jose Alvalade failed to separate these two clubs last week, so it all comes down to Thursday’s encounter in north London.

The Gunners are currently flying high in the Premier League and looking good value for their lead atop the table, but trophy aspirations on the domestic circuit move to the back-burner this week. Champions League dropouts Sporting proved in the home tie that they are very much still a big player under Ruben Amorim and will be eyeing up an upset in the English capital.

Indeed, it was a delicately-poised encounter in Lisbon, with Sporting leading at one point thanks to goals from Goncalo Inacio and Paulinho, who cancelled out William Saliba’s opener. But an own goal from Hidemasa Morita has kept the scoreline level and the match very much in the balance. It’s a winner-takes-all on Thursday, with a place in the pots for Friday’s draw on the line.

Arsenal v Sporting: Betting tips

Odds correct at the time of writing. 18+ Only. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Arsenal v Sporting: Predictions

Arsenal v Sporting: Predictions

Bet Prediction Best odds
BTTS? Yes EVS with Matchbook
Correct score 2-1 15/2 with Betway
First Goalscorer Gabriel Martinelli 9/2 with Midnite

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Arsenal v Sporting match stats

Fabio Vieira hasn’t had much joy in the Premier League since his move from Porto in the summer, but he has taken his opportunities in the cups when entrusted by Arteta. He provided the assist for Saliba last week to make him Arsenal’s best playmaker in the Europa League this season (two assists), while he has also created more chances than any of his team-mates in the competition (13).

Bukayo Saka was equally as menacing in Portugal. The England international completed eight dribbles in that first leg, the most by a player aged 21 or younger in a Europa League game since Calvin Stengs against LASK in 2020 (10 for AZ). It was also the most by an English player at such an age since Callum Hudson-Odoi for Chelsea against Malmo in 2019 (nine).

With Arteta’s ‘cup keeper’ Matt Turner set to retain his place between the sticks, Aaron Ramsdale has been keeping himself busy in other ways. Ahead of the crucial clash on Thursday, Arsenal’s No. 1 spent some time ranking football’s biggest wind-up merchants, several of whom he has personally clashed with.

Starting with Jamie Vardy, who regularly taunts opposition fans when he scores, Ramsdale told ESPN: “He’s one of the GOATs I think. He smashed up a corner flag when he scored against me in the last minute. So thanks for reminding me about that!”

On Emiliano Martinez, who garnered a lot of attention at the World Cup for his penalty antics and the bizarre gesture he pulled with his golden glove award, Ramsdale said: “It’s a difficult one because obviously at the World Cup he did everything. But other than that he’s not too bad.”

The Arsenal No. 1 also gave his thoughts of Richarlison, who confronted him at the end of the North London Derby in January. He said: “Wind-up merchant. He knows how to get under people’s skin. Sometimes it’s to his advantage, sometimes it’s not.

“It can either bite you in the bum or work in your favour. There’s been times where it works in his favour. I think he’s a wind-up merchant.”

Careful not to land himself in hot water, Ramsdale also placed his manager, Arteta, in the ‘actually… he’s a good lad’ tier, explaining: “I think that says it all. I’m not going to say my manager is a pain in the backside or a cheeky scally am I?!”

Of course, no ‘wind-up merchant’ list would be complete without vaudeville expert Jose Mourinho. “I think he was the first one ever,” Ramsdale said, “Master of the dark arts. I think he taught [Sergio] Ramos everything he knows.”

Arsenal v Sporting: Squawka Says

Scoreline prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Sporting

Arsenal v Sporting head-to-head

09 Mar 2023 – Sporting 2-2 Arsenal – Europa League

08 Nov 2018 – Arsenal 0-0 Sporting – Europa League

25 Oct 2018 – Sporting 0-1 Arsenal – Europa League

26 Nov 1969 – Arsenal 3-0 Sporting – Fairs Cup

29 Oct 1969 – Sporting 0-0 Arsenal – Fairs Cup

This will be meeting number six between these two clubs, with Arsenal yet to suffer defeat against the Portuguese club in their history.

Europa League Outright Odds

Team Bet365
Liverpool 9/4
Bayer Leverkusen 11/2
Milan 10/1
Brighton 12/1
West Ham 12/1
Roma 16/1
Benfica 20/1
Sporting 25/1
Atalanta 25/1
Galatasaray 25/1

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