Sporting CP vs Arsenal Odds, Pick: Short Price Worth Taking (Mar. 9)
Shaun Botterill/Getty. Pictured: Martin Odegaard.
Sporting CP vs Arsenal Odds
Sporting CP Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+100 / -125)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-130 / +105)|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Arsenal shift their focus away from the Premier League on Thursday for a Europa League encounter with Sporting Lisbon.
Sporting Lisbon overcame a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the knockout stage with Midtjylland in Portugal with a 4-0 thrashing in Denmark to set up a date in the round of 16 with the Premier League leaders.
They are fighting in Portugal right now for a Champions League berth and needs to make up a five-point gap on third place Braga, and beating one of the best teams in the world at the moment would give them the confidence to do so.
Arsenal are flying high right now after yet another late winner against Bournemouth to keep their lead at the top of the table in tact.
THAT Reiss Nelson goal, from every angle. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/bAosZCCe85
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) March 7, 2023
The question now for Arsenal is how serious do they take the Europa League? A Premier League is vastly more important to them at the moment, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mikel Arteta rotate some of his squad, especially considering that it’s Arsenal’s seventh match in 26 days.
Sporting CP Underrated in Europe
Sporting Lisbon are a very underrated team across the European landscape that should not be taken lightly. They finished in third in a Champions League group with Tottenham, Marseille and Frankfurt, and just last year made the round of 16 in the Champions League.
However, a lot of talent on the squad as left since then, Pedro Porro recently made a move to Tottenham , Matheus Nunes is now at Wolves and João Palhinha is now at Fulham. However, they do have some talented players like former Tottenham player Marcus Edwards, former Barcelona winger Trincão, and Pedro Gonçalves, who is lighting up the Portuguese league this season with a 0.79 xG + xA per 90 minute rate, per fbref.com.
Sporting are a very possession-dominant team and they’re very good out of their 3-4-3, playing very slow and using a lot of combination passes to play the ball through the middle of the pitch. In the Portuguese Primiera Liga this season, 28% of their attacks are coming through the middle of the pitch, per whoscored.com.
image via The Analyst
That became a problem when they got to the Champions League and had to face more possession-dominant teams like Tottenham, Marseille and even Frankfurt to an extent. In their first two matches against Tottenham and Frankfurt they held over 50% possession and won both matches.
They got red cards in both matches against Marseille early on so you can throw those matches out the window, but in their final two matches with Tottenham and Frankfurt, they failed to control over 50% of the possession and lost the xG battle a combined 1.3 to 2.9.
Arsenal Have Key Lineup Questions
The biggest question mark on this game is what starting XI Mikel Arteta decides to go with. Does he rest key players like Thomas Parety, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Bakayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard for their trip to Fulham on Sunday.
If he does it will have a pretty drastic effect on not only Arsenal as a whole, but where their moneyline goes. If Arsenal play a full strength squad they have major advantages against Sporting in the middle of the pitch. Arsenal are one of the best field tilt teams in the Premier League and they do an incredible job counter-pressing to keep you in your own half of the field, with the match against Bournemouth on Saturday a perfect example of that.
Arsenal 3 : 2 Bournemouth
▪ xG: 2.44 – 1.62
▪ xThreat: 2.36 – 0.7
▪ Possession: 79.9% – 20.1%
▪ Field Tilt: 93.2% – 6.8%
▪ Def Line Height: 60.7 – 32.7#msbot_eng #epl pic.twitter.com/08nVJdWl9s
— markstats bot (@markstatsbot) March 4, 2023
Arsenal were very dominant in their Europa League group, despite rotating a lot of their key players. The Gunners had a +8.0 xGD in six matches with their only loss coming on the road at PSV Eindhoven, but they won the xG battle in that match.
Sporting CP vs Arsenal Pick
This is a true “wait and see” situation with Arsenal and what lineup they decide to play. If all of the regular starting XI are in, there is a ton of value on Arsenal in the match.
Sporting have controlled over 50% possession in every single one of their Portuguese Primiera Liga matches this season, but given what we’ve seen from them in the Champions League, they really aren’t well equipped to play without the ball and defend in a low block for a majority of the match.
If Arsenal play a full strength squad, I have them projected at -188, so I like the value on them at +120.
Pick: Arsenal +120 (Play only if Arsenal Uses Full XI)
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