How Arsenal are expected to line up against Sporting in Europa League


rsenal seize on Sporting Lisbon in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie tonight, with Eddie Nketiah, Leandro Trossard and Kieran Tierney all sidelined.

Midfielder Mohamed Elneny is also out of the trip to Portugal with a knee injury, but it is unclear at this stage if Gabriel Jesus is match fit and in the squad.

Nketiah and Trossard’s absences mean that Gabriel Martinelli may maintain to lead the line, with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe likely to play either side of him.

Reiss Nelson, who scored the winner at the weekend against Bournemouth, is also pushing to start.

Goalkeeper Matt Turner should adjacent in for Aaron Ramsdale, while Takehiro Tomiyasu may start in the absence of Tierney through illness.

Jorginho is due to replace Thomas Partey at the base of midfield and Granit Xhaka is primed to play after being rested against Bournemouth.

Martinelli revealed that Fabio Vieira was meant to be at Wednesday’s press conference instead of him, though was ill. Arsenal later clarified that the midfielder had made the trip but was dealing with a sore throat.

Arsenal predicted XI (4-3-3): Turner; White, Holding, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Odegaard, Jorginho, Xhaka; Saka, Martinelli, Smith Rowe

Thursday 5.45pm GMT, BT Sport

Venue: Estádio José Alvalade

Referee: Tobias Stieler

Arsenal squad from: Hein, Ramsdale, Turner; Gabriel, Holding, Kiwior, Saliba, Tomiyasu, White, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Vieira, Xhaka; Jesus, Martinelli, Nelson

Injured: Elneny (knee), Nketiah (ankle), Tierney (illness), Trossard (groin)

Doubts: Jesus (knee), Vieira (illness)