Sporting Lisbon star hails Arsenal duo as 'the best in Europe'

Sporting Lisbon defender Jerry St. Juste has hailed Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli as ‘the two best wingers in Europe’.

Arsenal news, exclusives and analysis

Premier League leaders Arsenal visit Portuguese outfit Sporting in the first leg of their last-16 Europa League tie on Thursday night.

It remains to be seen how seriously Mikel Arteta takes the competition, with Arsenal’s priority likely to be their attempt to win the Premier League for the first time since 2004.

But if Saka and Martinelli start at the Jose Alvalade Stadium, Sporting will come up against two of the best players in Europe, according to St. Juste.

Asked if Saka and Martinelli – who have been involved in 37 goals this season – are the two best wingers in Europe, St. Juste said: ‘Yeah, I think so.

‘They have a lot of quality and they prove that weekly at the highest level so it’s going to be an exciting challenge.’

The Dutch centre-back added: ‘I think the players and staff see this as a great game to play. They are top of the Premier League and we want to test ourselves against the very best.

‘We are expecting an Arsenal who wants to win, wants to press, with quality on the ball. We are expecting a dynamic Arsenal.’

Which team has what it takes to win the Premier League this year? Arsenal or Man City?

Former Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin will likely feature for Sporting and St. Juste insists his team-mate is a valuable member of the squad.

‘He has a lot of experience,’ the 26-year-old said. ‘He played at Arsenal for a long time. With his experience and dynamic football, he brings a lot to the team.’

Sporting are currently fourth in the Portuguese Primeira Liga table and dropped into the Europa League after failing to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages.

Ruben Amorim says his Sporting side will need to overcome a ‘very difficult opponent’ in Arsenal if they are to progress in the Europa League.

‘Above all we know very well the spirit of Arsenal,’ he said at his pre-match press conference. ‘They are eager to win any match and that’s why they’ve been able to win right at the buzzer.

‘You see how they celebrate the victories. We are ready to face the best Arsenal and we know that it will be a very difficult opponent. We’re all excited and looking forward to the match.’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news onFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Source: Read Full Article