Arsenal vs Benfica official line-ups: Team news ahead of Europa League fixture tonight

Bella Butler
·2-min read
Willian (left) and Gabriel Martinelli in Arsenal training (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Willian (left) and Gabriel Martinelli in Arsenal training (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal are out to advance to the Europa League last 16 tonight as they come up against Benfica in Athens in their last-32 second leg.

The first leg in Rome ended in a 1-1 draw, with Bukayo Saka striking immediately after Pizzi’s penalty to provide the Gunners with a vital ‘away’ goal.

FOLLOW LIVE: Arsenal take on Benfica in the Europa League

That could be especially important given their inconsistent form; Mikel Arteta’s team have lost four of their last eight games across all competitions, including a 1-0 loss to Manchester City in the Premier League at the weekend.

READ MORE: All Champions League fixtures by date and kick-off time

Benfica are 15 points behind leaders Sporting in the Primera Division, but have only lost three league matches this season.

Coronavirus travel restrictions mean that Thursday’s round-of-32 second-leg match is a ‘home’ game for Arsenal, despite them playing 2,000 miles away from London at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis in Piraeus, home of Greek champions Olympiacos.

When is the match?

The game kicks off at 5.55pm this evening.

Where can I watch it?

The match will be shown live on BT Sport. Subscribers can also stream the match via the BT Sport website and app.

Official line ups

Arsenal: Leno; Bellerin, Gabriel, David Luiz, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka; Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Saka; Aubameyang

Benfica: Helton; Verissimo, Otamendi, Vertonghen; Goncalves, Taarabt, Weigl, Grimaldo; Pizzi, Seferovic, Rafa

Odds

Arsenal: 17/20

Draw: 11/4

Benfica: 3/1

Prediction

Arsenal should have gotten more out of the first leg than a 1-1 draw, and they impressed at times against Man City last time out despite coming up short. They must build on those performances to avoid a slip-up here or even an arduous night involving extra-time. The latter feels almost inevitable, doesn’t it? Arsenal 1-1 Benfica (Arsenal to win in extra-time).

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