On Thursday night, Arsenal travel to Atletico Madrid for their Europa League semi-final second leg tie. The Gunners face a big task at the Wanda Metropolitano after the first leg finished 1-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
Atletico Madrid’s recent form has been inconsistent of late, as Diego Simeone’s side have won just one of their last four games in all competitions. However, that is as far as the positive go in terms of Arsenal turning this tie around.
Los Rojiblancos have won ten of their last 11 home games in all competitions. Rather dauntingly for the Gunners, Atletico have kept clean sheets in their last 11 games in all competitions at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The home side has also won 16 of their last 17 games on home soil in the Europa League, including their last three without conceding a goal.
The Europa League has been Arsenal’s priority for a while. However, the Gunners can no longer catch fourth-place rivals Tottenham, so winning this competition is their only hope of claiming a Champions League spot.
However, the Gunners away record is a major concern heading to the Spanish capital. Arsene Wenger’s side has, in fact, won just two of their last 12 games on their travels in all competitions.
However, those wins came in this competition against Ostersunds and AC Milan. The visitors have won four of their last six away games in the Europa League.
The Gunners have a mixed record overall in this competition, winning eight of their 13 games so far. The north London outfit are unbeaten in their last five European games, recording three wins and two draws.
The home side look set to be without full-backs Filipe Luis and Juanfran due to injury, while fellow full-back Sime Vrsaljko is suspended following his sending off in the first leg. Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa missed the first leg but is expected to feature in this clash.
Arsenal are expected to be without midfielders Santi Cazorla and Mohamed Elneny due to injury. Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible to play, so Alexandre Lacazette with lead the Gunners attack.
Atletico Madrid are the favourites to record a win at 8/11, the draw is 14/5 and Arsenal are 9/2 to pull off a victory in Madrid.
It is a major challenge for Arsenal to progress to the final. However, if they do then they will fancy their chances of winning the final.
Will Arsenal progress to the Europa League final?