The Gunners have won all three of their Europa League matches

and will guarantee top spot with two games to spare with a home win on Thursday. Sporting are second in Group E, with six points from their three matches.

“It’s a very important match because if we win we’re first in the group – that’s our clear target,” said Emery.

“This competition is very important for us. It’s one way to win a title and get into the Champions League next year.

“We want to continue to improve and to continue with the players taking responsibility and confidence. I want to continue at the Emirates with our supporters with the same spirit as in the matches against Blackpool, Leicester and Liverpool.”