Foot Predictions shows Thursday’s Europa League match between Benfica and Arsenal, including hunches, preview and possible lineups.
Two European giants aiming to maintain their unbeaten record in 2020-21 Europa League fight at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Thursday as Benfica Touch Arsenal on your ‘home’ leg.
The Portuguese team qualified from Group D as runner-up, guaranteeing a tie in the round of 16 with Arsenal, which removed the competition in Group B to continue in first place.
With any prospect of an audacious attempt at the now apparently dead title, Benfica may well decide to prioritize the Europa League due to their bad luck in the league in recent weeks.
Jorge jesusThe men of the team warmed up for this game with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Moreirense, where Haris Seferovic raised his count to 12 in the season in all previous competitions Yan The draw was restored for the hosts, and Benfica have now won just one of their last six Premier League matches, drawing four of them.
Fourth-placed Aguias is now 13 points behind leaders Sporting de Lisboa after 19 games, despite having lost just three league games in the entire season, but at least they go on to the first leg with a streak of four games without losing. success at Taca de Portugal earlier this month.
Jesus witnessed his team navigate the group stage of the undefeated Europa League, but as has happened with their luck in the first division, the inability to convert draws into victories has made them rank second behind Rangers, although the 18 goals scored were the third largest in all groups, behind Bayer Leverkusen and Arsenal, midweek opponent.
With the away goals rule still in play, despite the confrontation being changed due to coronavirus travel restrictions, Benfica’s rearguard must quickly find its determination if it wants to keep Arsenal away, but that will be easier said than done. do against a rejuvenated Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The normally prolific Arsenal captain has dealt with problems on and off the pitch during the current campaign, but he scored his return to the starting lineup perfectly with his first Premier League hat-trick against Leeds United in a 4-2 win. 2 on Sunday.
Hector Bellerin also responded to his criticisms with a goal for the day, and even though Marcelo Bielsathe team threatened a turnaround with two goals in the second half, Mikel ArtetaThe team’s players gave their fans something to celebrate after consecutive defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa.
However, the Arsenal coach himself admitted that his team cannot be considered a realistic challenger for a result in the top four, so once again, the Europa League represents the Gunners’ best opportunity to return to the biggest stage of all, and Arteta will be desperate to avoid a repeat of Olympiacos’ humiliating elimination in last season’s first knockout round.
As mentioned, Arsenal simply made their way through their group with Dundalk, Molde and Rapid Vienna, with their +15 goal difference the highest joint of all 48 teams alongside Hoffenheim, and no other club in the groups advanced with six wins out of six – potentially a good omen for Arteta’s side before their trip to Rome.
The faithful of the Emirates would love for their team to go all the way and take a European trophy to the English capital, and they had only faced Benfica twice in the 1991-92 European Cup, where the Portuguese advanced 4 -2 in the aggregate on the second round.
Benfica Europa League form: WWDDWD
Benfica form (all competitions): WLDWWD
Arsenal Europa League form: WWWWWW
Arsenal form (all competitions): LWDLLW
All news from the teams
Benfica is in a difficult situation as a right-back with Andre Almeida and Gilberto both nursing wounds, so Diogo Gonçalves will continue to represent in defense.
Jardel is another long-standing absence on the Portuguese side, which should receive Odysseas Vlachodimos back between the sticks while Pizzi – tied with Lille Yusuf Yazici at the top of the Europa League scoring charts, with six – I also hope to return to the first XI.
Several former Premier League players will be renewing hostilities with Arsenal this week, as Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi and Adel Taarabt they are all on the start line for Benfica.
Arsenal have confirmed that they will speak to Aubameyang about an alleged violation of coronavirus protocols, but at this stage there is nothing to suggest that he will not be involved on Thursday.
The Gunners’ captain kicked his ankle in the dying embers against Leeds, but he should be fine for this one, but there is less optimism about the fitness of Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney, both are likely to be left out.
Nicolas Pepe He scored three times and made three assists in the group stage, and given the fact that Benfica could do without both recognized right-backs, the Ivory Coast international hopes to start on the left side.
Possible initial line-up for Benfica:
Vlachodimos; Gonçalves, Otamendi, Vertonghen, Grimaldo; Silva, Taarabt, Weigl, Pizzi; Nunez, Seferovic
Possible starting lineup for Arsenal:
Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Cedric; Xhaka, Ceballos; Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe; Aubameyang
Probability: Benfica 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal are incredibly difficult to predict at the moment, but as long as they manage to keep 11 men on the field and make their young guns fire at all cylinders, they have a good chance of advancing to the next round. Benfica were also flattered to cheat in the league, but are capable of making tonight a challenge for the Gunners, although we still hope Arsenal will take a small advantage in next week’s second leg in Greece.
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