Europa League preview and odds

Our betting expert has three tips for Arsenal vs Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League round of 16 second leg tonight at the Emirates Stadium (8pm kick-off). Scroll down to see the expert analysis behind his selection.

Arsenal vs Sporting Lisbon betting tips

Odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

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Gunners have quality to complete a fun competition

Arsenal meet Sporting Lisbon in the second leg of the Europa League round of 16 at the Emirates Stadium tonight. Everything is still open after last week’s 2-2 draw in Portugal.

William Saliba had opened Arsenal’s account in the first leg at the Estadio Jose Alvalade. In the end, however, the Gunners had to rely on a Hidemasa Morita own goal in the 62nd minute to equalize after Sporting scored on either side of the break through Gonçalo Inacio and Paulinho.

With both teams in good form and with a place in the quarter-finals in their sights, it could make for an intriguing and entertaining competition in north London.

While Arsenal’s main priority for the remainder of the season may be keeping Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, the Gunners will continue to seek further progress in Europe and enter tonight’s competition on a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

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However, Mikel Arteta’s side have shown defensive vulnerability throughout that accident-free sequence, conceding twice in last week’s clash with Sporting and in recent Premier League victories against Aston Villa and Bournemouth.

That gives the Portuguese hope of at least making the Emirates’ top scorer chart and confidence in Ruben Amorim’s side should be high as they are unbeaten in seven games and have scored in all of their last 10 games.

Sporting also drew 1-1 with Tottenham, Arsenal’s north London rivals, in the group stage of this season’s Champions League, although the Portuguese giants have not won in any of their last nine games in England since beating Middlesbrough in their run to Victory defeated 2005 UEFA Cup Final.

That last stat might prove to be the most telling as Arsenal are likely to add to Sporting’s woes on English soil.

Arsenal vs. Sporting Lisbon Tip 1: Arsenal win and both teams score at 11/5 with 10bets

Vieira previously played against Sporting

Fabio Vieira has had to wait for first-team chances since joining Arsenal from Porto last summer, but the attacking midfielder has been a mainstay for the Gunners in the Europa League, starting all seven games so far.

Vieira also scored a Europa League goal in the Gunners’ group stage win over Norwegian side Bodø/Glimt in the Emirates, while he was praised by Arteta for his performance during the first leg in Lisbon last week.

The 22-year-old has certainly played against Sporting before, scoring for Porto against the Lions last season and scoring the first of his former side’s two goals that ended in a 2-2 draw at the Estadio do Dragao in February last year .

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With the added motivation of playing a side from his home country, Vieira could be the man to propel Arsenal into the last eight.

Arsenal vs. Sporting Lisbon Tip 2: Fabio Vieira can score anytime at 13/5 with 10bet

The game could go in the right direction

A common theme during the first leg was the vulnerability of both teams when defending set pieces, with the first two goals of the competition for Saliba and Inacio coming from corner headers.

Arsenal have certainly impressed with attacking set-pieces this season, as no team in the Premier League have scored more goals from such situations this season than the Gunners have in total 12, although they have conceded five times from free-kicks and corners at the other end.

This raises the possibility that Thursday’s first goal of the competition will come from a header, although given the vulnerability of both teams in defence, no one can predict at which end that will happen.

Arsenal vs. Sporting Lisbon Tip 3: Method of first goal: a header at 9/2 with a 10bet

Arsenal vs Sporting Lisbon Odds

Odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

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