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The Gunners Return to the CL Round of 16 for the First Time Since Wenger | Team News, Injuries and Predicted Lineup – Porto vs Arsenal

Porto vs Arsenal, Porto, Arsenal

Let’s take a look at the team news as Arsenal travel away to Portugal for their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash against FC Porto at the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday. The Champions League resumes with the Round of 16 after a two-month break.

The Gunners are currently in stupendous form and in high spirits, having won their last two games by very big margins away from home, 6-0 drubbing of West Ham United and 5-0 hammering of Burnley alongside a 3-1 win over Liverpool at home just before that. Their recent win meant that Arteta’s men moved on to second position in the league table with 55 points from 25 matches.

Porto, Arsenal, Porto vs Arsenal

On the other hand, FC Porto, their CL opponents, currently stand in third position in the Portuguese League. Nevertheless, they have regularly made it to the Round of 16 of the competition in the recent past, while the North Londoners are playing in the competition after six seasons.

How Arsenal Have Lined Up Recently

Mikel Arteta fielded Jorginho alongside Declan Rice in their win against Liverpool. However, Kai Havertz, Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice started against both West Ham and Burnley, with Leandro Trossard playing as the centre-forward.

The move to start Jorginho with Rice was a somewhat defensive one, keeping the might of Liverpool in mind. Arteta did not want to concede territory in the middle third against the Reds. Jorginho also had a minor injury before the West Ham tie and hence, the Spaniard did not risk playing him.

Trossard scored one goal each against West Ham and Burnley, with Bukayo Saka coming up with virtuoso performances, scoring a brace in both the games. With almost all his attacking players in form, the Arsenal boss should be really optimistic ahead of the clash with Porto.

Changes We May See

We are unlikely to see much change in the starting XI for Arsenal against FC Porto from the one that thrashed Burnley. The Gunners should stick to their 4-3-3, with Rice as the holding midfielder, and Odegaard and Havertz as the two central midfielders.

If, however, Arteta decides to start with Jorginho, he might have to drop Havertz and play Trossard as the centre-forward. The Belgian has proven this season that he is better at playing as the central striker than Havertz. Hence, the Arsenal manager should start him as the No. 9 against Porto.

Leandro Trossard
Image Obtained via Football London

Moreover, they should start with the same back-four that started against Burnley. Jakub Kiwior, who has been impressive since coming in as a substitute against Liverpool, should start as the left-back. Not to mention, their pair of wingers, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, will be in the starting line-up.

Arsenal’s Recent Form and Tactics

The Gunners have been in great form during the last month or so. They have won their last five league matches to keep the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City. They also managed to top their group in the Champions League and will fancy their chances of reaching the quarterfinal.

As mentioned earlier, the Gunners should start with a 4-3-3 against Porto, instead of the 4-2-3-1 they employed against Liverpool with Jorginho and Rice as the double pivot. Jorginho’s ability to play incisive through passes could be an asset and if he starts, then the Gunners will probably switch to a 4-2-3-1 with Trossard as the front man.

Arsenal Injuries to Consider

Arsenal have had a few injury concerns of late. Gabriel Jesus continues to miss matches owing to an injury and even Jorginho has a niggle. Others like Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu have been out of action for quite a while now, but Emile Smith Rowe did return to action last week at Burnley.

Read More:

Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs FC Porto

David Raya, Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel, Jakub Kiwior, Declan Rice, Martin Odergaard, Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli.

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Subhadeep Roy
Subhadeep Roy has been covering football for different websites for the last six years. He supports Manchester United and follows them quite closely.

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