Our prediction for this Europa League match:
There will be fireworks when Arsenal and Benfica face each other at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in the Europa League last 32, return leg. The Gunners did well to score an important away goal in the 1-1 draw at Stadio Olimpico, with the team moving one step closer to securing their spot in the last 16, but they can’t afford any complacency in Thursday’s clash. David Luiz should be recalled to the starting XI after coming as a substitute in a 1-0 loss to Man City, while Thomas Partey remains in the recovery room.
The Eagles, on the other hand, have no other choice but to adopt an attack-minded approach in the second leg. Since Arsenal should have a number of opportunities to score on the break, we are tempted to put our money on Mikel Arteta’s troops. Both Jardel and Andre Almeida are sidelined with injuries for the visitors.
Highlighted Player (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang):
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the most famous Gabonese player and he is the first footballer from Gabon to appear in Bundesliga. Aubameyang played for the likes of Dijon, Lille, Monaco and St. Etienne in the past before joining Borussia Dortmund on July, 2013. The pacey attacker signed a five-year contract with the Millionaires and he has been producing outstanding performances with the Signal-Iduna-Park outfit ever since.
Aubameyang impressed in the 2015–16 Bundesliga, scoring 25 goals in 31 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, but that did not help Thomas Tuchel’s men win the domestic trophy. Speaking of his international career, the 187-cm-tall striker made his Gabon debut on 25 March, 2009 and he scored his first goal for the national team in a 3-2 win over Morocco.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped Gabon make it to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals. It has to be noted, though, that he played for France U-21 team in the past. Aubameyang was born in Laval, France on 18 June, 1989.
Highlighted Team (Benfica):
Member of the ‘Big Three’ clubs in Portugal alongside FC Porto and CP Sporting, Sport Lisboa e Benfica are the football club that has never been relegated from the Primeira Liga. The club is nicknamed Aguias because of the Eagle symbol atop the club’s crest. Benfica play their home games at the Estadio da Luz which replaced the original one in 2003 and which boasts the capacity of more than 64,000. Arguably the most successful club in Portugal, Benfica have won a record of 35 Primeira Liga titles and also a record 25 Taca de Liga and 7 Taca da Liga trophies.
Two-time European Cup winners, Benfica are the club known for their diligent work with youth players, many of which went on to make great careers abroad. The most prominent players to wear a Benfica shirt are legendary Eusebio, Manuel Bento, Jorge Tavares and most recently Javier Saviola, Nuno Gomes, David Luiz and Angel Di Maria.