THE EUROPA LEAGUE returns on Thursday night as Arsenal take on Sporting Lisbon. Tom Love (@TomLove_18) shares his betting thoughts.
Arsenal v Sporting Lisbon | Thursday 8th November 2018, 20:00 | BT Sport
Group E of the Europa League looks fairly straightforward for these two. Arsenal have won all three fixtures and Sporting have won twice; whatever happens in this encounter shouldn’t have a major bearing on qualification.
The hosts are going off at 1/3 ,which looks a tad skinny considering it’s a game they don’t have to win. The Gunners will welcome back Matteo Guendouzi after his recent suspension, whilst the likes of Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey are likely to start after being benched at the weekend.
Sporting have Dutch front man Bas Dost back in action, which is a boost for the visitors. Meanwhile, Jeremy Matthieu, is also in line for a start. The capital club have won their last two domestic fixtures against Boavista and Santa Clara but this will be a much sterner test.
Goals have been a feature of Arsenal games this season but just the one was scored in this reverse fixture. The Asian goal line is set at 3.0 here and I’m happy to take the unders given that. six of Sporting Lisbon’s last seven Europa League fixtures have seen fewer than three goals.
If exactly three goals are scored our stakes will be returned, and if fewer than three are netted we get paid out. The only way in which we’ll lose money is if four or more goals are notched.
I’m also going to have a small play on the draw at 24/5 (Marathon). I just think it’s too big given the group dynamics.
We’re getting to the stage where the top two of European groups are more likely to take a point because it’s mutually beneficial. It will edge both sides closer to qualification and if it’s all-square with half an hour to go it could just fizzle out.