Arsenal take on Sporting CP in the Europa League this week and given how they performed against Bournemouth at the weekend, Thursday’s game should be an easy win for them.
Sporting are in good form themselves as they are undefeated in their previous five matches but there’s no way the Portuguese side will be able to stand up to this Arsenal team.
The Gunners are still at the top of the Premier League table and with each passing week, they are looking like the favourites to lift the trophy by the end of May. They have a genuine shot at winning the Europa League as well but Mikel Arteta has a very small squad so even if he wants, he will not be able to play a second-fiddle side on Thursday night.
Arsenal’s team news and injuries:
Thankfully, the Arsenal manager has proper backup defenders which means we could see a different backline for the first leg.
Rob Holding should be coming into central defence with Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney playing as the two full-backs. We don’t know if Arteta will be comfortable resting both Gabriel and Saliba which is why only one of them will be rested on Thursday while the other starts.
Thomas Partey can be rested in midweek because Jorginho has done pretty well and the January signing should be coming into the starting line up.
Leandro Trossard came off against Bournemouth with a groin injury and the 28-year-old is likely to miss the first leg.
Updating about Trossard’s injury, Arteta said: ‘He felt something in his groin when he was tracking back in the first half. He had to come off. It looks like something muscular.’
Gabriel Jesus and Nketiah are also out injured and the absence of three major forward players means Riess Nelson is in line to get a start. Jesus is nearing a return but he is expected to make a comeback only towards the end of this month.
Nelson scored the 97th-minute winner against the Cherries so he deserves to come into the starting line up.
Arsenal predicted line up vs Sporting CP:
Predicted Starting Line up: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, Tierney; Saliba, Gabriel; Xhaka, Jorginho, Odegaard/Vieira; Martinelli, Saka, Nelson.