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Arsenal vs Sporting CP: Gunners to take their time again

Sporting CP vs Arsenal Match Preview and Predictions

Arsenal can qualify for the knockout stage of the Europa League with two matches to spare by repeating their victory over Sporting two weeks ago.

[All odds correct at time of publication]

Unai Emery's men have won three out of three in Group E and are on the brink of progressing with the minimum of fuss.

Sporting are second in the table and gave Arsenal a stern test in Portugal before Danny Welbeck grabbed the only goal of the game in the second half.

Match information

When is it? Thursday 8th November

What time is kick-off? 20:00

Where is it being played? Emirates Stadium

Which channel is it on? BT Sport 2

Arsenal vs Sporting CP Betting Tips

Here are our best tips for Thursday's match for which we also have a range of other markets available:

The lowdown

Arsenal's 1-0 win in Lisbon was their 11th consecutive victory and although their run has since ended with draws against Crystal Palace and Liverpool, they remain unbeaten since August 18.

Their late equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool at the weekend maintained their momentum and they are short-priced favourites at 1/3 to complete the double over Sporting.

There is certainly a feelgood factor at the club again and a sense that the team is moving in the right direction under Emery, and it would be a surprise if Arsenal fail to get the job done on Thursday night.

Sporting proved in the first match that they are no pushovers though and they have since won back-to-back league matches to sit third in the Portuguese Liga, two points behind leaders Porto.

Backing the Gunners to win at such short odds has little appeal but we're attracted by the BetStars odds boost of 19/10 for a 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 victory as the first of our Arsenal vs Sporting predictions.

Europa League previews

If you're interested in more Europa League betting tips, check out our in-depth previews below:

First goalscorer tips

Arsenal have already had six different scorers in their three Europa League matches and Danny Welbeck looks the pick of the first goalscorer odds, especially with his price boosted from 7/2 to 9/2.

The England international has started all three matches, unlike fellow forwards Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, and is available at longer odds than those two.

Anytime goalscorer tips

Full-back Saed Kolasinac is fit again and started against Liverpool at the weekend, playing 81 minutes before being sacrificed for Welbeck as Arsenal chased an equaliser.

That was only his second outing of the season due to injury but his five goals last season show he carries a threat going forward. All five goals were at the Emirates Stadium and two were in the Europa League so take 13/2 for him to strike against Sporting.

Where the game will be won or lost

Arsenal started the match in Lisbon slowly and have since conceded first against both Palace and Liverpool.

Sporting boss Jose Peseiro spoke with pride at how his players prevented the Gunners playing the sort of free-flowing football that has been associated with them in recent weeks.

"Nobody has been able to do what we did in that first half against Arsenal," he said.

"I'm not sure whether it was lack of aggression or fear but they came back into the game. We were playing one of the best sides in Europe, who play very well vertically and with great depth. I cannot blame my team for doing what they did.

"We did not let our opponent do what they are usually able to do in England and in the Europa League this season.

"In the second half we were not able to keep the pressure and Arsenal were able to get in space behind. We feared that and retreated."

Emery conceded the Gunners' slow starts is an issue that needs addressing and he has made his players aware of it.

"Each match is a very big opportunity to improve things and one thing is this," he replied. "We need to continue finding the solution for us to be better in the first half."

With that in mind, we're adding 11/4 for Draw HT/Arsenal FT to our Arsenal vs Sporting betting tips.

Only seven of Arsenal's 32 goals in the Premier League and Europa League this season have come in the first half so backing the first goal to be scored between 51 and 60 minutes looks worth a speculative punt at 9/1.

80+ Minute Goal Insurance - Free Bet up to £/$/€20 if a goal scored after 80 minutes turns a winning bet into a loser. Applies to Premier League, Champions League & Europa League Match Result bets only. Min odds: 1/2 (1.50). Terms apply.

Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in Football