Benfica vs Arsenal: Europa League preview

With the Gunners down in 10 place in the Premier League, winning this competition represents their best chance of Champions League qualification as well as their only chance of silverware after an early FA Cup exit.

Mikel Arteta’s side were knocked out at this stage of the competition last season, beaten on away goals by Olympiacos, but did reach the final the season before that under Unai Emery.

Rather than heading to Portugal, Arsenal are off to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, the neutral venue where this game is being held because of coronavirus restrcitions, with the second leg to follow at another neutral ground, in Athens.

Date, kick-off time and venue

Benfica vs Arsenal is scheduled for a 8pm GMT kick-off on Thursday, February 18, 2021.

The match will be held behind closed doors at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy due to coronavirus travel restrictions between Portugal and the UK.

How to watch Benfica vs Arsenal

TV channel: The match will be televised on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport Ultimate.

Live stream: BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch the match online via the BT Sport website and app.

Benfica vs Arsenal team news

Arsenal have Kieran Tierney back in training this week, but it remains to be seen whether the Scot is ready to play after a month out, while Thomas Partey is expected to miss out.

Mikel Arteta handed a first Premier League start to Martin Odegaard in the win over Leeds on Saturday, but Nicolas Pepe seems likely to come back into the side, while Rob Holding could return at centre-back.

It also remains to be seen whether Arteta starts his No1 goalkeeper Bernd Leno, or hands a European debut to January signing Mat Ryan.

Arsenal predicted line-up: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Cedric; Elneny, Xhaka; Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Aubameayng

Benfica vs Arsenal prediction: 2-1 away win

Given Benfica’s struggles in the Portuguese top flight this term, Arsenal will fancy their chances of an away win here – especially after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick in the 4-2 win against Leeds last weekend. The Gunners should win, but there could be a few goals.

Head to head (h2h) history and results

Last meeting: Arsenal 1-3 Benfica | European Champions Clubs’ Cup (06/11/1991)

Benfica vs Arsenal betting odds and tips (subject to change)

Arsenal to win 2-1: Between 9/1 and 10/1

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