Arsenal vs Sporting predictions: Portuguese visitors to down Premier League leaders
- Sporting have won their last five away matches across all competitions
- Both teams have scored in four of Arsenal's last five home games
- Recommended bet: Sporting Lisbon to win and both teams to score
These two played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Portugal in the first leg and more of the same is expected when they face off at the Emirates on Thursday for a place in the quarter-finals.
While Arsenal's impressive attacking prowess was again on show at Estadio Jose Alvalade, their issues at the back were also clear for all to see and Sporting will be hoping they can cause more problems.
Arsenal v Sporting (Thursday, 8pm)
Despite initially having being ruled out of contention for Arsenal's win over Fulham on Sunday, Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Jesus both played a part in that victory at Craven Cottage and the duo are pushing to be involved again.
With an important home clash against Crystal Palace this weekend, Mikel Arteta may decide to rotate his squad and that could mean a return to the starting XI for Fabio Vieira, while Kieran Tierney, Jorginho and Matt Turner are also in line to start.
However, the Gunners are expected to be without Eddie Nketiah due to an ankle injury and Mohamed Elneny, who is a long-term absentee following knee surgery.
Sporting will welcome back Manuel Ugarte, who missed the first leg due to suspension, but Morita and Sebastian Coates both picked up their third bookings of the European campaign in the reverse fixture and are banned.
The Portuguese outfit are also without the services of former Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin because of a knee issue and Daniel Braganca is out long term with his own knee injury.
Arsenal are on a six-game unbeaten streak across all competitions, with the only match they failed to win being the 2-2 draw with Sporting in the first leg.
The Gunners have only kept two clean sheets from their last eight home matches and they had to come from 2-0 down to beat Bournemouth 3-2 in their most recent assignment at the Emirates.
Sporting have tasted just one defeat from their last 10 outings across all competitions, while they have chalked up five straight victories on their travels.
Arsenal are still battling hard to stay ahead of Manchester City in the Premier League title race and it would be no surprise to see them falter on the European stage against an in-form Sporting.
The Gunners' defence has looked a little suspect on home soil, conceding eight goals across their last five games at the Emirates, and this shaky backline can be exposed again on Thursday.
Sporting have only failed to score in one of their last nine away contests and they look ready to cause an upset in north London.
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