Football Tips

Sporting Lisbon v Arsenal Match Preview, Free Bets & Betting Tips

Fresh off the back of a dramatic last-gasp win over Bournemouth in the Premier League, Arsenal are off to Portugal on Thursday to face Sporting Lisbon in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.

The Gunners have been taking care of business domestically, and they will relish their chances against Sporting, who haven’t scored in each of their past four encounters with the north London outfit.

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That said, Mikel Arteta’s charges will be wary, given that they have only won one of their past nine European clashes in Portugal (D5, L3), and their last win came against Sporting in October 2018.

And Sporting have been in good form, rattling off four wins on the trot in all competitions. They will pose a threat especially when Pedro Goncalves flying down the left wing with the ball.

Arsenal can’t look too far ahead, but victory over the two legs will see them lock horns with Roma or Real Sociedad in the quarter-finals.

But how will things transpire? We have delved into the markets and picked out a couple of tips for you to ponder ahead of kick-off.

Arsenal to bring something back to the Emirates

While recent history might suggest that Sporting will fancy their chances against Arsenal given the joy they experienced against Tottenham in the Champions League this term, Arteta’s men will have other ideas.

The Gunners have the wind in their sails at the moment, and the win over Bournemouth epitomised the fighting spirit within the team.

Arsenal just don’t know when they are beaten, and they are a force to be reckoned with.

This clash will of course be an emotional one for Hector Bellerin, who spent 11 years at the Emirates before heading to Portugal, and it’s fair to say that Sporting are the underdogs.

Although away goals have been scrapped, I have a hunch that the Gunners will keep a clean sheet in the first leg.

For my first pick, I have gone with Arsenal to win to nil, a price that is available at an intriguing 11/4 with Paddy Power.

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Sporting vs Arsenal

Sporting vs Arsenal Prediction

Gunners to win and keep their net intact

Martin Odegaard to come up with something special

If there is one player that you can depend on in the Arsenal team, then it’s their skipper Martin Odegaard.

The Norwegian midfielder is always keeping things ticking over, and he has a habit of producing when it matters.

He has been more prolific this term, firing home nine goals in all competitions, but he is still looking to break his Europa League duck.

Although Eddie Nketiah is Arsenal’s top scorer in the Europa League with two goals, his drop in form has been concerning.

Odegaard will fancy his chances. If you like a match special, then William Hill has obliged with a 7/1 price for the 24-year-old to score from outside the penalty area which might be worth pursuing.

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Charles Perrin

Charles Perrin

Charles is an experienced sports betting content producer providing bespoke content, specialising in golf and football