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Arsenal v Sporting betting tips: Gunners go through if they win

Richard Marsh | 8 November 2018

Preview and odds for Europa League clash

Arsenal will hope to book their spot in the Europa League knockout stage when they take on Sporting CP tonight.

Unai Emery’s Gunners have won all three games in Group E so far. A win tonight would see them guarantee themselves top spot.

Arsenal are unbeaten since August, and will be confident of extending that run tonight against a Sporting side who have already gone through two managers this season.

Tiago Fernandes is currently caretaker manager, with former Ajax boss Marcel Keizer reportedly close to agreeing a deal.

It’s all live on BT Sport tonight, with an 8:00pm kick-off.

Head-to-head

This is the fourth meeting between the teams. They met twice in the Fairs Cup in 1969, before last month’s clash in Lisbon.

Arsenal have never conceded a goal to Sporting, and head into this game on a 14-game unbeaten run.

Sporting have lost three of their last six games, and have failed to win their last six European games on British soil.

Likely XIs

Emery is likely to start Danny Welbeck up front again. The Englishman netted the only goal in the reverse tie, and seems to be enjoying his infrequent chances to impress.

The Arsenal manager must then choose between Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi or Emile Smith-Rowe to fill in the other spots in attack.

Nacho Monreal is back in training, but is unlikely to play tonight, with Sead Kolasinac continuing at left-back. Matteo Guendouzi, Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny will jostle for the midfield spots alongside Granit Xhaka.

Fernandes is unlikely to change things too much from the XI which beat Santa Clara 2-1 at the weekend.

That means starting roles up front for powerhouse forward Bas Dost and Marcos Acuna but they will be without Rodrigo Battaglia after the Argentine ruptured his cruciate on Sunday.

Key battles

Arsenal had 67% possession in Lisbon, and they’re likely to dominate the ball and the match again tonight.

Welbeck’s energy and movement is key. He can keep defenders busy and free up space for Aubameyang, Iwobi, Smith-Rowe and Ramsey.

Sporting can’t allow Xhaka time on the ball. The Switzerland midfield’s left-boot can pick out passes from anywhere on the pitch.

The visitors will have to bide their time, and hope Dost and Acuna can pounce on the counter.

Match odds

Arsenal are 2/7 favourites for a win which would confirm them as winners of Group E with two games to spare.

There’s 9/2 about a draw while Sporting are deemed unlikely victors at 11/1.

It’s 21/20 for Arsenal to win to nil, while they’re 4/5 on the -1 handicap.

Alexandre Lacazette is 3/1 favourite to score first tonight, but the Frenchman has barely featured in the competition, so attention should turn to Aubameyang at 16/5 or Welbeck at 7/2.

Dost is 9/1 favourite in Sporting’s first goalscorer market, ahead of former Manchester United winger Nani at 12s.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing