Arsenal vs Benfica prediction: How will Europa League fixture play out tonight?

Bella Butler
·2-min read
Mohamed Elneny (left) and Dani Ceballos in Arsenal training (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Mohamed Elneny (left) and Dani Ceballos in Arsenal training (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal will be hoping to progress to the last 16 of the Europa League when they take on Benfica in Athens in the ‘home’ second leg of their last-32 tie tonight.

The two sides played out a 1-1 stalemate in the first leg in Rome, with Bukayo Saka cancelling out Pizzi’s penalty in the second half.

FOLLOW LIVE: Arsenal take on Benfica in the Europa League

Arsenal therefore hold a valuable ‘away’ goal, which could be crucial amid their turbulent form; Mikel Arteta’s side have lost four of their last eight matches in all competitions, including a 1-0 defeat by Manchester City in Sunday’s Premier League meeting.

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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