Arsenal look set to reignite their charge of Europa League as they welcome home Benfica for the second league this week. The match schedules for Thursday at Emirates Stadium, with a kickoff at 8:55 pm.
The two sides played to a 1-1 draw at Roma in their first leg, with Bukayo Saka canceling out Pizzi’s penalty in the second half.
It was a defining moment for Arsenal in their top-six bid as they welcome in-form title leaders Manchester City at Emirates last weekend. It was a moment of rookie meets master as Pep battled it out to make it 18 consecutive wins.
The match showed the lack of focus, sharpness, and brilliance to elevate the Gunners in a troubled and unpredictable calendar. A header by Sterling proved the difference for the match despite numerous attempts by the Citizens.
Aubeyamang came under heavy criticism during their last encounter after several open attempts. The Gabonese International was missing during the City’s clash with looming fears of getting dropped for in-form Lacazette. However, a hat-trick against Leeds makes Aubemayang the leading goal-scorer for the Gunners.
Benfica’s form is nothing to write home either, with the Portuguese giants only winning three of their last 11 in all competitions. A Premier Liga title race was seemingly out of the question. Jorge Jesus’ men have managed to go six matches unbeaten, but four ended with shared spoils.
Arsenal vs. Benfica Head to Head
Both sides have one game against each other ending in a draw in their first leg encounter. Here is a look at their previous encounter:
Arsenal 0-1 Manchester City
Benfica 1-1 Arsenal
Arsenal 4-2 Leeds United
Aston Villa 1-0 Benfica
Wolves 2-1 Arsenal
Farense 0-0 Benfica
Benfica 1-1 Arsenal
Moreirense 1-1 Benfica
Estoril Praia 1-3 Benfica
Benfica 2-0 Famalicao
Arsenal Team News
Arsenal will remain without Rob Holding after sustaining a concussion during their clash with Manchester City. The side will also remain without Thomas Partey who is recovering from a knee problem. Arteta admitted on need to reshuffle the squad that could see David Luiz and Gabriel Magalhaes to return for Holding and Mari.
Benfica Team News
We might see a 4-4-2 setup with Darwin Nunez and Luca Waldschmidt leading the line, but Jardel and Andre Almeida remaining sidelined. Julian Weigl got suspended during their clash with Farense but is back here alongside Pizzi.
Prediction and Odds
There is no taking back about the defensive ability for Arteta since taking over, we expect a quick response.
Goals Under 2.5
Away: No Score