Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are gearing up for a potentially tough game against Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, March 9 at the José Alvalade Stadium.
Eddie Nketiah is a doubt for the Gunners’ game against Sporting Lisbon – he missed out on their most recent game against Bournemouth in the Premier League. Additionally, there are questions surrounding the availability of Emile Smith-Rowe and Leandro Trossard, as both were brought off with injuries in that game.
On top of this, former Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus and Mohamed Elneny will both miss out on the Sporting game, as the pair continue to recover from their respective long-term injuries.
Arsenal made it this far by finishing top of their Europa League group, which also consisted of Zurich, Bodø/Glimt and PSV Eindhoven. The Gunners won all but one of their group games, where they were beaten 2-0 away from home by PSV.
Meanwhile, Sporting Lisbon finished third in their Champions League group behind Tottenham and Eintracht Frankfurt, meaning they were transferred to the Europa League knockout round playoff. They were drawn against FC Midtjylland – ultimately, the Danish club posed little threat, as Sporting swept them aside by a score of 5-1 over two legs.
Arsenal have never won a European trophy – they reached the Champions League final in 2006 and the Europa League final on two occasions (in their most recent Europa final, they were beaten by Chelsea). Despite this, major European silverware still eludes the Gunners’ extensive trophy cabinet. Could this be the year when they finally break their continental duck?