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Benfica vs Arsenal. UEFA Europa League Round of 32.


Benfica 1

  • Pizzi (55th minute pen)

Arsenal 1

  • B Saka (57th minute)

Benfica vs Arsenal: Europa League preview, team news, stats, kick-off time

Kieran Tierney returns to the squad after a leg injury; Thomas Partey remains out; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also set to travel to Rome after tattoo picture; follow with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports' digital platforms

Kieran Tierney has missed Arsenal's last three games with injury
Image: Kieran Tierney is back in the Arsenal squad and has trained ahead of their Europa League clash

Team news and stats ahead of Benfica vs Arsenal in the Europa League last 32 on Thursday; kick-off 8pm.

Team news

Benfica right-backs Andre Almeida and Gilberto are both set to miss the Europa League encounter through injury with Jardel also a long-term absentee.

There will be some familiar faces in the Benfica ranks too with former Premier League players Jan Vertonghen, Nicolas Otamendi and Adel Taarabt expected to feature.

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey will miss the last-32 clash but Kieran Tierney has trained and is in the squad after recovering from a leg injury.

Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also travelled with the squad to Rome, where the Europa League tie will take place due to coronavirus travel restrictions, after he was pictured getting a tattoo last week.

Also See:

EL talking point: Double take on neutral soil

Nothing sums up European football's difficulties amid coronavirus travel restrictions more than Arsenal's tie with Portuguese side Benfica. Both legs will be played at neutral venues due to the current restrictions. Benfica will host the first leg in Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Thursday night. A week later the return will not take place in London, but in Greece at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium - home of Olympiacos.

Away goals, however, will count as normal, and Arsenal will be mindful of that after losing to Olympiacos in those circumstances at this stage of the competition 12 months ago.

How to follow

Follow Benfica vs Arsenal with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports' digital platforms.

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Opta stats

  • Benfica and Arsenal met in the last 16 of the 1991/92 European Cup, with Benfica winning 4-2 on aggregate (1-1 home, 3-1 away); these are the only two meetings between the teams.
  • Arsenal have faced five different Portuguese opponents in European competition and beaten them all (Sporting CP, FC Porto, Sporting Braga and Vitória Guimarães) apart from Benfica (D1 L1).
  • Benfica have won the first leg of their last nine UEFA Europa League knockout ties when it's been at home and won 14 of their last 17 first leg matches in the knockout phase overall (L3).
  • In this season's UEFA Europa League, Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe has been involved in 48 open play sequences that have ended with a shot, four more than anyone else.
  • Benfica's Pizzi has been directly involved in more UEFA Europa League goals than any other player this season (6 goals, 2 assists). The last Portuguese player to score more goals in a UEFA European campaign for Benfica was Eusébio in the 1970/71 European Cup Winners' Cup (7).
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