Arsenal v Atletico Madrid Europa League semi-final first leg preview - My Arsenal Blog

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Arsenal v Atletico Madrid Europa League semi-final first leg preview

Posted on April 25, 2018 by David Nugent

On Thursday night, Arsenal host Spanish club Atletico Madrid at the Emirates Stadium in the Europa League semi-final first leg.

Arsenal heads into this game on the back of a 4-1 home win over West Ham. It was the story of the Gunners season, as they dominated the home game, but on their travels, Arsene Wenger’s team have been woeful.

However, the team from north London have a strong record in the Europa League, winning eight of their last 12 games in Europe’s secondary competition. The Gunners have also won three of their last four European games, while also scoring at least two goals in their last four games in Europe.

Arsenal have been relatively strong on home soil in the Europa League, winning four of their six games in the competition, scoring at least two goals in all four wins.

Atletico Madrid are no doubt a cut above the Gunners previous opponents in this competition so far this season. However, Diego Simeone’s team have been struggling for wins of late, winning just one of their last five games in all competitions.

The Spanish side dropped out of the Champions League into the Europa League, winning five of their six games in this competition. A six-game winning run in this competition came to an end last time out, as the visitors suffered a 1-0 defeat at Sporting Lisbon.

Atletico have a mixed away record in the Europa League dating back to their last spell in this competition in 2012. In fact, the visitors have won three and lost three of their last six games in the competition.

Los Rojiblancos have also failed to win in their last four games on their travels in all competitions.

Team News

For Arsenal, midfielders Santi Cazorla and Mohamed Elneny are sidelined due to injury, while Petr Cech, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jack Wilshere are also fitness doubts. Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is eligible, so French striker Alexander Lacazette will continue as the team’s lone striker.

The visitors have some big absentees through injury, including experienced full-backs Juanfran and Filipe Luis and former Chelsea striker Diego Costa. Diego Godin, Antoine Griezmann and Koke were all rested at the weekend with this clash in mind.

Betting News

Arsenal are the favourites to win this clash at odds of 13/8, the visitors are 19/10 and the draw is 23/10.

Arsenal have to take a healthy advantage to the Wanda Metropolitano for the second leg, as their away form has been poor of late. With their recent good home form, Arsene Wenger’s side will be confident of pulling off a victory.

Will Arsenal beat Atletico Madrid on Thursday night?

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