Our prediction for this Europa League match:
All eyes will be on Emirates Stadium when Arsenal and Sporting face each other in the Europa League Group E derby. Arsenal did well to beat Sporting in Lisbon two weeks ago, with the Gunners creating a number of clear-cut chances to score. Arsenal coach Unai Emery obviously takes Europa League games very seriously and seeing that he is likely to count on his first-team regulars against the Lions, we believe that there is a big value in betting on the Premier League side. The Portuguese outfit are sitting in second position in Group E and, no doubt they would be happy with one point from Thursday’s football match. However, seeing that Arsenal have been impressive in all competitions this season, we are positive that the visitors are going to return to Portugal empty-handed. A man to watch in the home team will be former Borussia Dortmund attacker Aubameyang.
Highlighted Player (Granit Xhaka):
Granit Xhaka is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most talented central midfielders at the moment and he is on the radar of quite a few high-profile sides. Just two seasons at FC Basel proved enough to attract interest from Borussia M’gladbach, who secured his signature in the summer of 2012. The Switzerland international had a slow start to his career in Germany, causing many pundits to start doubting his credentials, but he eventually turn things around to show he is more than capable of playing at the highest level. Acting as a deep-lying playmaker, Xhaka impressed fans and pundits alike with his performances in Bundesliga and European competitions, and he even managed to score a couple of important goals in the process. Despite his fragile age, the highly regarded footballer has been a key member of the Switzerland national team for quite some time now, scoring 6 goals in his first 40 caps to establish himself as a real leader of the Rossocrociati. The 2014 World Cup, where he scored one goal in four starts, should prove just the first of many major tournaments to come.
Highlighted Team (Sporting Portugal):
When it comes to official club members, Portugal giants Sporting Lisbon are the sixth club in the world. Commonly referred to as Leoes which is Portuguese for Lions, Sporting Lisbon were founded in 1906 and are one of the founders of the Primeira Liga. Sporting’s main rivals are Benfica, with both teams contesting the Lisbon Derby, one of the most fierce ones in Europe. Lions play their games at Estadio Jose Alvelade in front of 50,000 people and are the third most successful club in the country with 46 titles in Portuguese competitions and a title in the European Cup Winner’s Cup from 1963-64. During this time that is also known as the club’s golden years, Sporting Lisbon won the majority of their 18 Primeira Liga titles in total. Sporting Lisbon boasts the quality football youth academy system which has yielded world-class footballers such as Paulo Furte, Simao Sabrosa, Nani and Ballon d’Or winners Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.