Arsenal found it difficult to get going in the first leg of their Europa League last 16 tie against Sporting CP on Thursday night – giving up a first-half lead and then finding themselves equalised.
The Gunners would remain narrow favorites for home advantage in the second leg to progress to the last eight of the competition, effectively making the tie a one-off game.
The Europa League could prove itself to Arsenal with their first European trophy in 29 years, but there is much more left to play for this season with a first Premier League title in 19 years looming large in the coming weeks.
Here are Arsenal’s next six games, which fall either side of the international break in March.
Arsenal’s next engagement is a trip to London neighbors Fulham, who have shocked the top flight in recent months by moving to European venues.
The return fixture provided an opening season win for the Gunners. Aleksandar Mitrovic had struck just before the hour mark, but Martin Odegaard equalized before atoning for Gabriel’s previous mistake by netting an 86th-minute winner.
Things started well for Arsenal in the first leg in Lisbon when William Saliba scored an early header from a corner. But Sporting CP returned to the sport in a big way not long after.
Former Tottenham forward Marcus Edwards proved a real pain throughout and Goncalo Inácio and Paulinho scored either side of half-time. Hidemasa Morita’s own goal ensures that the second leg starts on an even playing field.
Crystal Palace have taken some drastic measures armory In recent years. The Eagles are four-match unbeaten at the Emirates, drawing their last three matches after a 3-2 win in 2019.
Palace beat Arsenal at Selhurst Park last season as the Gunners’ Champions League push began to fade, but Mikel Arteta pulled off a 2-0 away win this term thanks to a strike from Gabriel Martinelli and an own goal from Marc Guiche.
Next on the docket will be Leeds in early April. Teams will have recovered players from the March international break before the final few crunch months of the season.
Two teams are battling for alternate goals; Arsenal want the title while Leeds just need to survive. A 1–0 victory proved enough for Arsenal at Elland Road in October.
The trip will be a much tougher test than games against Fulham, Palace and Leeds, all of whom Arsenal will be expected to win while remaining potentially tough.
Liverpool have given the Gunners some serious beatings in the recent past and have not lost to them at Anfield. Premier League Since 2012. However, Arsenal secured the return victory and will be the favorites here, given the contrasting fortunes of the two teams.
Arsenal will face another relegation candidate when they return from Merseyside, although if they go past Sporting they could play one more Europa League match before facing West Ham.
The Hammers have rarely put up a fight against Arsenal, winning just one of their last 14 games against them, but could play with some extra intent if they are still involved in the scrap at the bottom of the table.
first leg of 2022/23 Europa League The quarter-finals will be played on 13 April and the return matches will be played on 20 April.
Should Arsenal beat Sporting over two legs, they will have two more games to fit into their impending schedule. The match with West Ham, already scheduled for Sunday, will not be moved but Friday night’s game against Southampton, scheduled for April 21, will have to be rearranged.
on this edition of The Chronicles of a GonerPart of the 90min Podcast Network, harry simeau Sporting previews Arsenal’s trip to CP in the Europa League and Gabriel Jesus reacts to his return to full training.
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