Jesus returns to Arsenal's starting XI after long injury lay-off

By Sports Desk March 16, 2023

Gabriel Jesus was named in Arsenal's starting XI for their Europa League clash with Sporting CP.

Jesus returned from injury as a second-half substitute in Arsenal's 3-0 win over Fulham on Sunday, a victory that moved them five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The former Manchester City forward had not featured since sustaining a knee injury while on duty with Brazil at the World Cup in Qatar last year.

Jesus' last goal came at the start of October, in a 3-1 defeat of Arsenal's north London rivals Tottenham.

With the last-16 tie against Sporting level at 2-2 after the first leg in Lisbon, Mikel Arteta selected Jesus to lead Arsenal's line at Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Reiss Nelson kept his starting place from the first leg, with Gabriel Martinelli completing the front three as Bukayo Saka dropped to the bench.

Matt Turner, Ben White and Jakub Kiwior started in Lisbon, but Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Gabriel Magalhaes came into the defence for the rematch, with Jorginho, Fabio Vieira and Granit Xhaka keeping their places in midfield.

William Saliba put Arsenal ahead on March 9 before Goncalo Inacio and Paulinho turned matters around, but Hidemasa Morita's own goal ensured the second leg would start on level terms.

Leandro Trossard, Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey were the first-team regulars named alongside Saka on the bench, with Arteta juggling progress in Europe with the Gunners' title charge – they face Crystal Palace at home on Sunday.

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