Sporting Lisbon Preview.

Win tonight. Top the group with two easier games to go. Job done.

Perhaps the post should stop here!

Man Utd and Spurs completely undeserved victory will hopefully keep them out of the Europa. There seems to be heightened expectations that we will win this tournament but, like the Carabao, it is relatively easy until the final rounds.


Sporting Lisbon have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 30 European games, I expect that run to continue. Having said that, we have not kept a clean sheet in our last 5 European games!

We have discussed Sporting in the first leg and we have little to add. They are a decent team, strong defensively, hard working … the usual. We should beat them in a home tie.

We have injuries and players returning to the squad, they should remain out of the team. A mixture of youth and experience is what is required.

My Team:


Licht    Mustafi     Holding    Wardrobe

Ramsey   Curly    Smith Rowe (Lab)     AMN (Cons)

Mhiki       Welbz

A strong attacking bench will allow Mr Emery to play a very inexperienced and young midfield. I very much doubt he will play this team but it would be fun. Xhaka needs a rest, and I would keep Iwobi for Wolves at the weekend, same with Laca, Hector, Terrier and PEA.


Tonight’s 6 officials (referee, linesman, behind the goal-line linesmen and 4th official) are from Lithuania, could this be a first?

Not as easy a fixture as many are assuming, this will not be a walkover.

Enjoy the game



48 Responses to Sporting Lisbon Preview.

  1. Rasp says:

    Morning all, thanks Raddy, on the surface there’s not a lot to get excited about this game.

    Apparently Sporting are in a mini crisis having lost their manager a week ago and one of their best players is apparently out with a long term injury. But you know what they say about wounded animals.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. There is little enthusiasm anywhere. Could it be that Gooners expect us to win this easily or is it just a loss of interest in Euro football?

    I hope the latter which indicates that the PL is of prime interest, which I agree with

  3. Rasp says:

    I hear you Raddy, I’m in the minority in really enjoying the EL. It gives UE an opportunity for squad development and must help create a more inclusive atmosphere.

    I’m lucky to be going this evening, I shall be watching M-N closely, I think he’s a great prospect and another player that should thrive under the new regime.

  4. Red Arnie says:

    Thank you, Raddy. 🙂 Yes, can be a somewhat tricky game, but not much else to get excited about.

    However it matters. Win this game and we have the option of seeing our academy guys in action in the next two. Self preservation is key and hence I expect Mr Emery to field the strongest possible team in this one.


  5. Red Arnie says:

    I have a personal interest in this game. I have quite a few friends who are Sporting supporters, so this is a rare opportunity for some banter with them, 🙂


  6. RC78 says:

    Here is my line up:

    Cech – Licht, Jenks, Sok(if available otherwise, Musta), Kola – Ramsey, Guendouzi, AMN – Iwobi, Miky – Wellbz

  7. Big Raddy says:

    RC. So a couple of changes from my choice – Smith Rowe and Mustafi out.

    Agree about Sokratis – if he is fit. I would prefer to see Iwobi rested ahead of Wolves and then a long trip to Nigeria in the Interlull (who are playing South Africa and Uganda in the African Nations)

  8. chas says:

    Thanks. BR.

    I’m quite looking forward to watching tonight’s match.

    The away game was fairly dull.

    Sporting won’t want to end tonight on the same points as Vorskla (assuming the Ukrainians make home advantage count against the Azerbaijanis)

    I’ve a feeling this home game will be a thrill-a-minute.

  9. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks Raddy – it’s a good day when it starts off with one of your PM’s.

    I’m always excited when Arsenal play. Our team under Emery have become very difficult to beat and he will want to finish first in Group E. Sporting are the only serious opposition and a win would put us 6 points ahead of them with two very winnable games remaining.

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    Eddie – where are you???

    Come out of hiding.

  11. LB says:

    Good pm BR
    I think the team will be a tad stronger than you have up there although if we win tonight I expect that to be the starting line up for the next game.

  12. jjgsol says:

    Can I change the subject, please?

    We can see from what happened last night with Sterling how things have changed and yet they have not changed.

    Sterling tripped up over his own feet or kicked the ground and fell over and the ref gave a penalty.

    I remember a number of years ago, in a home match against Pool, Robbie Fowler fell in the box when challenged by Seaman.
    A penalty was given and scored, and that was how it ended.

    So what has not changed is that refs still hand out penalties and advantages when they should not.

    What has changed is that Fowler ran after the ref and pleaded with him not to give a penalty as Seaman had not touched him and the ref refused to listen to him.

    Sterling, so I understand, did nothing.

    So what has changed is that the players have become more dishonest. Although Sterling has a reputation as a diver, if last night’s incident was as reported, then that does not bode well for the future.

  13. chas says:


    They all cheat.
    The reward of getting a free shot from 12 yards is far too high for the majority of incidents in the 18 yard area.
    Until that changes, cheating will continue.

    Franny Lee was the first I can remember with a reputation for diving.

    In the early 70s there was a joke that Man City had signed a Chinese player called Lee (Pen) as he “won” and scored so many.
    After retiring, he ran a successful toilet roll business which made him a millionaire. That about sums it all up!

  14. chas says:

    What I want to know is….why is a 1980s pop band playing for Shakhtar?

  15. LB says:

    Just to add a bit of flesh to the bone. Mark Reilly, the lead singer of Matt Bianco is a good friend of mine and a good Arsenal man to boot.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    I liked Matt Bianco or at least their first album but that song is dreadful

  17. LB says:

    Tried too hard to get a hit……………

  18. VP of Oz says:

    I named my dog Bianco after the band.
    I say yeh yeh

  19. VP of Oz says:

    Sterling penalty, what a disgusting player and a person.

  20. chas says:

  21. chas says:

  22. Red Arnie says:

    COYG. on the sofa now. 🙂

  23. Red Arnie says:

    no doubt disgusting … but would the world cry foul if he was still with Pool? … and how much more disgraceful would it be if he was not an English player?

    that, for me, is the greater disgrace!

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Evening Arnie

    Licht picks up his regular yellow card for kicking Nani.

    Got to be happy with the Swiss lad

  25. Red Arnie says:

    Welbz … bad news

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Looks very bad for Danny

  27. Red Arnie says:

    agreed, Raddy. On Danny and on Licht

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Horrible injury to Danny such a shame as he has been playing well this season

    Douzi best player on the pitch. At just 19 he has such vision

    Mhiki playing poorly.

  29. GunnerN5 says:

    Sporting are not creating any chances, they are being stifled by the Gunners, on the other hand we are creating lot’s of opportunities that are being wasted.

    Let’s hope Danny has not suffered a serious injury but it looked awful.

  30. Red Arnie says:

    Danny, really sad

  31. GunnerN5 says:

    Mhiki has been off of the pace for a few weeks now Raddy, the free kick was a terrible waste.

  32. Red Arnie says:

    yes, GN5, that was a shocking freekick. hopefully, there will be more creativity in the 2nd half. just need one goal, hopefully. 1-0 will do me fine

  33. Red Arnie says:

    messy game now. Miki is playing slightly better second half, but our attacks still lack punch

  34. Red Arnie says:

    Licht. looks like hamstring. oh dear! very costly game in terms of injuries

  35. Big Raddy says:

    Our full backs are cursed this season

  36. Red Arnie says:

    hmmm. messy game.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    I did not expect Lisbon to come and PTB, it made for a dull game as they always had 7 players in their own penalty area.

    Further thoughts tomorrow

  38. Red Arnie says:

    Sporting did not allow us to settle into a good game. Persistent fouling. Nani is just such a despicable character as well. And that red card foul probably saved a goal.


  39. RC78 says:

    Not a great game to watch. Did anybody see Ramsey on the pitch? He was our worse player…Lack of movement from Smith-Rowe as well. I thought Miky looked like he was getting frustrated by the lack of movement around him…Iwobi also not his usual self. Only Guendouzi running like a maniac and Miky trying to create some play. Good entrance by Kola

    Sad about Danny 😦

    Now Wolves…They ll be tough

  40. RC78 says:

    I think that Miky is playing well actually, his passing is good and he is asking for the ball. I think some of the movement in front and on the side of him are lacking though BUT I am sure that once there is more movement, he is gonna rack up the assists and goals because the moment there is movement, he pick the right pass. Watch THE Ramsey Goal, he actually creates it

  41. RC78 says:

    I just saw a pic of Wellbeck’s injury – his foot is looking backwards almost 😦 I suspect an ankle and maybe a shin fracture

  42. GunnerN5 says:

    That is just a horrible injury, how sad for Danny.

  43. Gööner In Exile says:

    What a blow for Danny…such a shame and just pure bad luck slightly off balance from the header.

    Knew it was bad, personally don’t want to see any picture, my guess is BT must have had another angle to show but fair play to them they played the angle from far away (even at half time) and said that’s all we have can’t see it any clearer….but the mood of Keown and Cole told more.

    Shame Licht pulled hamstring hopefully just a pull and not tea he didn’t go down in agony, but that’s the risk of old legs in a position that requires a lot of running, muscle fatigue will eventually tell and he has been playing a lot of games. Shame we had already removed the Corporal as he could have gone to right back.

    And thinking on that surprised Emery didn’t start Kola at left back and the Corporal on right but I guess we are a little thin in full back positions.

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All

    Didit ?????

  45. chas says:

    Hope Didit’s ok.
    Not like him to go AWOL without good cause.
    Perhaps some tricky manoeuvres.

  46. chas says:


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