Arsenal will be looking to protect their perfect start in the Europa League and extend their 14-game unbeaten streak in all competitions when they face Sporting on Thursday.
The Gunners currently sit in top spot in Group E, knowing that a win this week would secure their place in the knockout stage of the competition.
Further, given their unbeaten run, Unai Emery will be looking to extend their impressive form to continue to build momentum heading into the festive period and to keep confidence high.
In turn, as seen in the possible Arsenal line-up below, although he is being tipped to make changes to the XI that faced Liverpool last weekend, it’s still a side full of experience and quality.
Petr Cech, Stephen Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Aaron Ramsey, Matteo Guendouzi, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck are all being tipped to start the game, which will give them all a chance of staking a claim for a more permanent spot in the line-up moving forward.
Nevertheless, it perhaps also goes to show that Emery is very serious about the Europa League, while securing safe passage through to the next stage of the competition as swiftly as possible would potentially give him the chance to rest key players for the remaining two outings.
With that in mind, the XI below does seem to make sense, although time will tell whether or not it’s the exact formula that the Spanish tactician goes with to see off Sporting.
Arsenal face Wolves on Sunday evening, but giving the likes of Sokratis a run out after his recent injury layoff as well as keeping key squad figures such as Ramsey and Iwobi involved could be huge in Emery finding the right balance this season.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Aubameyang. (via The Mirror)