class=”article_teaser__2t5do”>With the tie finely poised after a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Al Hain-Cole expects another tight game between the Gunners and Jesus' men in Athens
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Arsenal will be looking to book their place in the last-16 of the Europa League when they take on Benfica at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki on Thursday.
The Gunners secured a 1-1 draw in last week’s “away” leg in Rome, leaving all to play for as they take residence in the Greek capital.
Arsenal vs Benfica Latest Odds
That draw brought an end to Arsenal’s six-match winning streak in this season’s competition, although they are 3/4 (1.75) favourites to bounce back by securing a victory in Athens.
Jorge Jesus’ men have not lost any of their last eight Europa League matches but are 10/3 (4.33) outsiders to make it through to the next round by coming out on top.
Four of the guests’ last five European games have resulted in draws, and you can get odds of 3/1 (4.00) on them playing out yet another stalemate in this one.
Arsenal vs Benfica Team News
Rob Holding will not be involved after suffering a head injury in Sunday’s defeat against Manchester City, but Thomas Partey could be back in contention.
Jardel and Andre Almeida remain the only injury absentees for the away side, who include former Tottenham players Adel Taraabt and Jan Vertonghen among their ranks.
Arsenal vs Benfica Preview
Mikel Arteta highlighted his side’s lack of ruthlessness after they missed a number of chances to add to the single away goal provided by Buyako Saka in the 1-1 draw, a result that leaves this tie on a knife-edge.
This is not a new problem for the Spaniard, whose team has scored more than once in just one of their last six fixtures – scoring only twice in the other five.
Nevertheless, with an away goal in their favour, they should back themselves to keep at bay an Aguias side that has proved at least as profligate in front of goal of late.
Indeed, the Portuguese outfit have scored no more than once in eight of their last 11 matches in all competitions, albeit conceding only 11 times themselves in that run.
Arsenal vs Benfica Tips and Predictions
All in all, odds of 10/11 (1.91) seem generous on a tense and tight affair providing no more than two goals for Arsenal’s fourth game in five and a seventh in eight for Benfica.
All odds correct at time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.