Arsenal are gearing up to take on Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening. The scores were level in the first leg – it is still all to play for.
Arsenal fans will have been delighted to see the return of former Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus in their last fixture against Fulham – the Brazilian has been injured since the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. While he may not play the full 90 minutes against Sporting, he’s certainly not far away from being fully fit.
Aside from this, Arsenal have just two injury concerns. Mohamed Elneny is still out with a long-term injury, while Eddie Nketiah is a major doubt – the game against the Portuguese giants will likely come too soon for the former Leeds United loanee.
In the first leg of the tie, the scores ended level at 2-2. Arsenal scored first through William Saliba, but a shock looked to be on the cards when Sporting turned the game on its head to go 2-1 up. Thankfully, the Gunners’ blushes were spared due to an own goal from Hidemasa Morita.
On Arsena’s injury situation, Arteta said: “Big boost. The first step today. We didn’t know if it was the right game today [against Fulham]. He [Gabriel Jesus] said to me a few days ago ‘I’m still missing something.’ Yesterday I looked in his eyes and he said ‘I’m ready’. I said ‘OK!’ So then we had the opportunity to throw him in.
“It’s that first step to give him the big boost. He looks free, he looks ready and straight away he generated those two big chances. It’s great to have him back.”
The Europa league is still filled with quality teams, such as Manchester United, Juventus and Sevilla. Can Arsenal make history by winning their first-ever European trophy?