Saturday, March 6, 2021

Prediction: Arsenal vs Benfica

Prediction: Arsenal to win 2-0

Best Odds: 15/2

Bookmaker: Betfair

Arsenal and Benfica will lock horns with each other again in the Europa League this week. The second leg of the Round of 32 tie will take place at Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis in Piraeus on Thursday and is slated to kick off at 5:55pm UK time.

Arsenal

Arsenal will be looking to looking to get the job done on Thursday evening when they take on Benfica in the ‘home leg’ of their Europa League Round of 32 tie. The first leg of the tie ended in a 1-1 draw, meaning that the Gunners have the advantage of a crucial away goal.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the match will not be played at the Emirates Stadium in North London but will be held at Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis in Piraeus. Arsenal will head into the encounter against Benfica on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in North London in the Premier League.

Team News:

Kieran Tierney returned to the starting lineup against City, and the former Celtic left-back, now fit and available, could start against Benfica on Thursday evening.

Benfica

Benfica will be disappointed that they could not win the ‘home leg’ against Arsenal last week. The Portuguese giants actually took the lead from the penalty spot in the 55th minute through Pizzi, but the Portuguese giants conceded the equaliser just two minutes later when Bukayo Saka turned in a low cross from Cedric Soares.

Jorge Jesus’s side will head into the match against Arsenal on the back of a goalless draw with SC Farense away from home in the Portuguese league. Benfica are fourth in the standings at the moment with 43 points from 20 matches, as many as 11 points behind leaders Sporting Lisbon.

Team News:

Darwin Nunez and Luca Waldschmidt are likely to lead the line for Benfica.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Arsenal have won five of their last seven home matches against visitors from Portugal.
  • Arsenal have won four of their last 10 UEFA competition matches in Greece, losing five.
  • Benfica are playing in the Europa League Round of 32 for the seventh time.
  • Benfica have won just four of their last 22 European matches outside Portugal, losing 12.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat-trick for Borussia Dortmund against Benfica in 2016-17.

Conclusion

Benfica are not going to be easy pushovers, and an early goal could make them very threatening. However, Arsenal have the better team, and Mikel Arteta’s side should get the job done.

Prediction: Arsenal to win 2-0

Best Odds: 15/2

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie Jones


Jamie Jones is an experienced football journalist who has been working in the industry for years. Jamie watches all the major leagues in Europe, especially the Premier League and La Liga.

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