"I pity Porto", "hattrick incoming" - Arsenal fans sound confident after starting XI against FC Porto is announced

Arsenal are set to face FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League
Arsenal are set to face FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League

Arsenal are set to return to action in the UEFA Champions League with a Round of 16 clash against Portuguese giants FC Porto away on Wednesday, February 21. Fans online have reacted to their starting XI and sound confident to take an advantage in the tie.

The Gunners haven't had the best record at this stage of the UEFA Champions League, often falling short in spectacular fashion. Their last foray into the last 16 ended with a 10-2 aggregate humbling at the hands of Bayern Munich in 2017, an unforgettable moment in club history.

Mikel Arteta's side topped their group this season comprising Sevilla, RC Lens and PSV Eindhoven in the group stage. They lost only once, to the French side, throughout the group phase of the competition.

With the first leg set to take place at the Estadio do Dragao in Portugal, Arteta has named a strong XI for the encounter. The manager made no alterations to the side that spanked Burnley 5-0 at Turf Moor in the weekend's Premier League game.

Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli has scored or assisted in every Champions League game this season and would be keen to maintain the record. Declan Rice has also proven to be a great piece of business for the side, and he starts the game.

Arsenal fans were pleased with the lineup put out for the game, and they took to X to share their thoughts.

One fan wrote:

"We are smashing Porto! Havertz hat trick incoming"

Another tweeted:

"I pity Porto this night 😂💔"

See more reactions from X below:

Arsenal have been knocked out of the Round of 16 in each of their last seven participations in the tournament, dating back to 2011. They last reached the quarter-finals after beating Porto in the last 16 2009-10 season.

They will be favourites to emerge from the tie but will face a tough task in Porto.

Fabio Vieira named among subs as Arsenal prepare for Porto clash

Arsenal have welcomed midfielder Fabio Vieira back into their squad for the match against FC Porto for the first time in months. The Portugal U-21 international has been named on the bench for the match against his boyhood club.

The Gunners are on a five-match winning streak in the Premier League since the start of 2024 and are expected to stroll past Porto by many. Their quest for a place in the quarterfinals will surely be helped by the availability of Vieira, who has appeared only eight times in the league this season.

The 23-year-old had been unavailable since picking up a red card against Burnley in November, suffering an injury shortly after. He starts on the bench alongside youngsters such as Ethan Nwaneri and several fringe players hoping to get minutes in Porto.

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Edited by Aditya Singh