According to Portuguese publication Mais Futebol, it’s increasingly likely that both legs of the last 32 Europa League clash between Arsenal and Benfica will take place at neutral grounds.
As we reported a couple of weeks ago, due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, the Gunners are unable to play in Lisbon without quarantining for 10 days on the return to London.
Uefa rules allow for a change of venue in such circumstances – and even for the tie to be played as a one-off game – but it sounds as though both sides are leaning towards keeping it as a double-header, albeit outside the UK and Portugal.
The report claims stadia in Spain, France and Italy are preferred, however, venues further afield, including those in Greece, have not been ruled out.
A final decision on where the games take place is expected in the coming days. The first leg is scheduled for 18 February with the return fixture a week later.
Last week, it was confirmed that Liverpool will face RB Leipzig in Budapest, Hungary after plans to play at Red Bull Arena in Germany were scrapped due to coronavirus protocols in the country.