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Arsenal vs Benfica: Must-win game for the Gunners

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Ace Football previews the Europa League game between Arsenal and Benfica and offers betting tips, odds, line-ups, and team news.

Arsenal take on Benfica on Thursday night in the second leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie.

The first leg was held in Stadio Olimpico and ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Benfica opened the scoring with a penalty and Bukayo Saka leveled matters just two minutes later.

A lot is at stake for this fixture as whoever wins qualifies at the expense of the other.

The game will be held in Athens, Greece but will serve as the home fixture for Arsenal.

The Gunners need nothing but a win or a goalless draw to advance to the next round.

For Benfica, only a win as well or a high-scoring draw will be enough to see them through.

Benfica come into this game off the back of a goalless draw at the weekend while Arsenal look to bounce back from their 1-0 loss to Manchester City.

Arsenal had chances to kill the game in the first leg but marksman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fluffed his lines. Mikel Arteta was left disappointed and finds himself in a delicate position should the Gunners bow out of the competition tonight.

Given all at stake, Arsenal will be looking to put out their best performance tonight.

Arsenal Form and Stats

Arsenal sit 10th in the Premier League after an inconsistent season. The Gunners won 4-2 at home against Leeds with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hitting a hat-trick and Hector Bellerin on target.

Mikel Arteta’s side drew 1-1 against Benfica in the Europa League round of 32 first leg. Aubameyang missed a glorious chance to open the scoring in Rome before Bukayo Saka equalized after Benfica scored from the penalty spot.

Arsenal’s last match was a 1-0 loss against Manchester City. They fell behind in the 2nd minute and were outclassed by the runaway leaders.

Key Team Stats
  • Arsenal have only lost one out of their last six home games (all competitions)
  • Arsenal have won six of their last seven matches (UEFA Europa League).
  • Arsenal have seen over 2.5 goals in six of their last seven matches (UEFA Europa League).

Benfica Form and Stats

Benfica find themselves 15 points behind Sporting CP in the Primeira Liga. The Eagles have been below their best in recent weeks, winning three of their last 11 matches in all competitions.

Benfica drew 1-1 against Arsenal in the Europa League round of 32 first leg, Pizzi opening the scoring in Rome.

Benfica’s last match was a 0-0 draw at Farense. Once again they dominated but came away with a point.

Key Team Stats
  • Benfica have not won five out of their last six away matches (all competitions).
  • In their last three away games, Benfica have seen at least over 3.5 goals scored by both teams (all competitions).
  • Benfica has conceded at least a goal in their last eight away matches in a row (all competitions),

Team News

Arsenal: Rob Holding, Thomas Partey (injured)

Benfica:  Jardel and Andre Almeida (injured).

Predicted Line-up

(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)

Head-to-head

Benfica and Arsenal have met in three competitive matches, all ending in a 1-1 draw.

Match Facts

Betting Tips

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