Joao Palhinha, one of Arsenal’s summer transfer targets, recently stated that he wants the Gunners to lose to Sporting CP in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League.
Mikel Arteta’s team are set to take on Sporting later tonight in the second leg. The first leg between the two teams ended in a 2-2 draw in Portugal. Palhinha, previously of Sporting, revealed that he will be at the Emirates to cheer for his former club.
The current Fulham midfielder told O Jogo (via The Boot Room):
“I will be at the stadium with my wife and son and I hope they’re [Sporting] happy in the end. “I’ll be rooting for them to win tomorrow, I know it won’t be an easy game. They played very well in the first game. I believe they can also give a good answer tomorrow, in an environment that is very good, in the Champions League.”
Palhinha played 95 matches for Sporting before joining Fulham in the summer. The 27-year-old has since made 28 appearances for the Cottagers, scoring four goals.
He has been one of the best summer signings in the Premier League. The Portuguese’s form has attracted interest from several clubs, including Arsenal.
Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard previewed clash against Sporting CP
The clash against Ruben Amorim’s Sporting CP is set to be a tough one for Arsenal. Much like Arteta, Amorim is one of the best young coaches in Europe and his Sporting team is well-constructed.
The Gunners certainly got a taste of Sporting’s quality in the first leg. Club captain Martin Odegaard is anticipating yet another closely contested duel in the second leg.
The Norwegian wrote in his program notes (via the Gunners’ official website):
“All we know is that we play at home tonight, and if we win, we’re through, so that’s our target. It’s our first European tie since the start of November, and although I don’t think it’s difficult to switch focus from the Premier League to Europe, it’s true that the routines are different.”
The clash at the Emirates will commence in an hour.