Benfica vs Arsenal
UEFA Europa League
Date: Thursday, 18 February 2021
Kick-off at 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Stadio Olimpico.
The Gunners are in the midst of a crisis season. Despite the best of their efforts they have not been able to break into the top-most tier of the PL table, and as things stand the team will have to give up European aspirations for the 2021-22 campaign.
As such, their only hope remaining is the Europa League. They need to deliver a mesmerizing campaign in the contest, and possibly win it outright, in order to save their season, as well as to save faces in front of fans.
Moreover, the winner of the Europa will get an automatic entry to the next edition of the Champions League – which should be an added advantage.
They do have the confidence of being one of the best teams in the most competitive league in Europe. They regularly take on the best teams in world football, and are much more well-versed with pressure situations than their counterparts for the day.
Meanwhile, the Eagles have been worryingly inconsistent lately. They are no longer in the title conversation in the Portuguese top flight, despite having played an extra game. In fact, they are placed fourth in the table, trailing ten points behind toppers.
They are also part of a much inferior league compared to that of the English top flight. They are in no shape to take on Mikel Arteta’s men, despite all the troubles the English titans are currently facing.
Expect an Arsenal win this Thursday.
Benfica vs Arsenal: Head-to-head (h2h)
- The Gunners are on a two-game winning run (in the Emirates Cup), and had scored a total of ten goals in the process.
- Their only defeat against this rival had come back in 1991, and that too in the extra time of a match-up.
- Jorge Jesus’s men had lost five of the preceding nine encounters against other PL squads.
- Arteta’s men were unbeaten in nine of the former twelve clashes against other Portuguese opposition.
Benfica vs Arsenal Prediction
The Gunners have a terrific h2h record against this rival in recent times, and against other Primeira Liga opposition as well. They are also from the best league in Europe, while the First Division A is a far inferior domestic competition in comparison.
Moreover, striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seems to have found form just when it was needed, as he is fresh off a blistering hat-trick.
In addition, Arteta and his boys need a thumping win at any cost to hold their heads high. An under-par performance this Thursday would be nothing short of a disaster for them.
In addition, Jesus’s men were also winless in six of their former nine match-ups, and they do not even have the home advantage as the game is played at a neutral venue.
Likely, expect an Arsenal victory this match-day.