Two European giants aim to maintain their unbeaten record in the 2020-21 Europa League battle at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. The match schedules for Thursday, with kickoff at 11 pm.
The Portuguese outfit qualified for Group D as the runners up for a last 32 tie with Arsenal. The Gunners made a clean sweep in the group stages to make it to Group B.
Benfica will have to turn their attention to the Europa League with a heavy league of fixtures coming through. The home side enters into the clash coming from a disappointing 1-1 draw to Moreirense. Haris Seferovic netted the 12th goal of the season before Yan restored the share of spoils last weekend.
The Aguias are currently fourth-placed in the standings while 13 points adrift of league leaders Sporting Lisbon after 19 games. It is an unexpected run of form with only three league defeats so far this season.
Arsenal captain looks rejuvenated after netting the first hattrick of 2021 in the Premier League following their 4-2 win over Leeds United. The captain has been facing issues outside the pitch during the current campaign. However, it marked his return to the starting XI perfectly last weekend.
Mikel Arteta knows the daunting task that remains in securing a top-four finish this season. The Europa League represents the Gunner’s best opportunity to return to the biggest stage of them all.
Benfica vs. Arsenal Head to Head
Both sides have two games against each other with Arsenal taking home two wins while Benfica without one. Here is a look at their previous encounters:
Moreirense 1-1 Benfica
Estoril Praia 1-3 Benfica
Benfica 2-0 Famalicao
Benfica 0-0 Vitoria SC
Sporting CP 1-0 Benfica
Arsenal 4-2 Leeds United
Aston Villa 1-0 Arsenal
Wolves 2-1 Arsenal
Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United
Southampton 1-3 Arsenal
Benfica Team News
Benfica is in a predicament with right-back Andre Almeida and Gilberto, both nursing injuries. It means that Diogo Goncalves will continue to deputize at defense. Another long-term absentee for the side includes Jardel. Pizzi will also return to the starting XI this Thursday.
Arsenal Team News
After starting on the bench, Nicolas Pepe and Alexander Lacazette might get some minutes this Thursday. Left-back Kieran Tierney is back in full training and could get a start ahead of Cedric Soares. Midfielder Thomas Partey continues to remain on the sidelines with an injury.
Prediction and Odds
Arsenal is different from telling with their form, but we cannot throw away their 100% flawless record this season.
Both Teams to Score
Goals Over 2.5