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Unai Emery hopes Arsenal can maintain momentum against resurgent Sporting

• ‘Win this competition and you are in the Champions League’
• Portuguese club are rebuilding after turbulent year

Serenity has not been a quality that has come easily to Sporting in recent times. So it felt like some unhealed wounds began to reopen last weekend when they endured a scare in the Portuguese Cup. Their opponents Loures, a suburban team, play in the third division, in a stadium built to hold around 1,000 spectators. Sporting, a footballing institution with all their historical grandeur, played poorly and just about made it through the tie 2-1 while impatience in the fanbase began to bubble up again.

That is not something anybody wants to see. Sporting are a club in recovery from perhaps the most turbulent period in their history. During the summer a gang forced their way into the training ground armed with sticks at the end of a disappointing season. A group of players sought to cancel their contracts and quit the club. The president who had overseen the chaos was replaced, Sinisa Sinisa Mihajlovic came and went as coach after a mere nine days in situ.

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