Arsenal could be dealing with a mini-crisis in the central portion of their attacking third when they visit Sporting Lisbon on Thursday for a Europa League playoff clash. With both Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah poised to miss out due to injury, long-term injury absentee Gabriel Jesus might come off the sidelines for this one. Reports indicate that the Brazilian, who suffered a serious knee injury at the World Cup in late 2022, will indeed make the trip to Lisbon.
While he has been progressing well on his rehab, his appearance would mark the first time he’s featured in 2023. “Jesus the Savior” right? LOLOLOLOL.
Arsenal at Sporting Lisbon FYIs
Kick: Thurs March 9. 5:45pm Estadio Jose Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal
Competition: Europa League Round of 16, Leg 1/2
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Arsenal Starting XI Prediction: go here
Fun Fact: Arsenal has met Sporting four previous times, and they’ve yet to concede a goal
Stat Pack: Arsenal are undefeated in six previous UEL clashes with Portugese sides
Gunners Team News
If he doesn’t make the match day squad, then the Gunners will be sans a true, out and out striker. If he does feature, then it will most likely be just in a limited minutes role. Most likely, manager Mikel Arteta will move Gabriel Martinelli over from the left wing, and into a central position. He could then bring either Reiss Nelson or Emile Smith Rowe up from midfield and into the front line on the left flank.
Arsenal’s only other injury concern here is Mohamed Elneny, who has long been ruled out of the season.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
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