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Arsenal predicted line-up against Sporting Lisbon as Mikel Arteta makes Gabriel Jesus decision



Premier League leaders Arsenal must beat Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night in the Emirates to reach the last eight of this season’s Europa League.

Arsenal are targeting the Europa League quarter-finals when they take on Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates on Thursday night.
The Gunners drew 2-2 in the first leg in Portugal last month. William Saliba’s opening goal was canceled out by Goncalo Inacio’s superb header before Sporting made it 2-1 with a strike from Paulinho.

Hidemasa Morita’s own goal tied the game.
Mikel Arteta is set to rotate his squad for the second leg due to the Premier League title win. Arsenal are five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table with a home game against Crystal Palace scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Matt Turner will replace Aaron Ramsdale between the posts, although last time out he couldn’t claim glory for Sporting’s two goals. The United States international has featured in all but one of Arsenal’s Europa League games this season.

Takehiro Tomiyasu has struggled for minutes in the Premier League due to Ben White’s performances at right-back, but the Japanese defender is yet to miss a European game for Arsenal this season.

As such, he is tipped to start against Sporting at right-back. One of Arteta’s toughest decisions will be who to play at centre-back. He is very unlikely to call on his favored combination of Gabriel Magalhaes and Saliba, with Rob Holding and Jakub Kiwior both hoping to be included in the starting eleven.

Kiwior, who was signed by Italian side Spezia in January after representing Poland at the World Cup in Qatar, failed to impress Sporting last time out. But with limited opportunities in the Premier League, Arteta could give him another chance in Europe.

Kieran Tierney is behind Oleksandr Zinchenko in the pecking order at Arsenal this season, missing the last game against Sporting. Nonetheless, he returned to the squad for last Sunday’s 3-0 win at Fulham and was due to start on Thursday night.

Fabio Vieira and Jorginho both started the first leg against Sporting but returned to the bench in Fulham’s win. They are both recalled to rest captain Martin Odegaard and veteran midfielder Thomas Partey.

Arteta’s squad aren’t big enough to make 11 changes for the Europa League, so Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka – arguably Arsenal’s two most important players – will continue.
Leandro Trossard put in a great performance as a false No9 against Fulham and could continue up front as Gabriel Jesus is still recovering from a knee injury. Jesus will probably play against Sporting, although it’s probably still too early for him to start.

Arteta has a selection dilemma on the left flank, with Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson both pushing for starts. Smith Rowe hasn’t started a Premier League game this season due to a groin injury and will be hoping to stay in the tank for a few more minutes.

Arsenal are set to start in the starting XI against Sporting Lisbon: Matt Turner; Takehiro Tomiyasu, Rob Holding, Jakub Kiwior, Kieran Tierney; Jorginho, Granit Xhaka, Fabio Vieira; Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard and Emile Smith Rowe.