A few days ago, Arsene Wenger revealed he’s gonna leave Arsenal at the end of the season, after more than two decades spent in this club. A way to go out in still is to win the Europa League. But, to do that, the Gunners first need to go pass Atletico Madrid. The first tier of the semifinal doubleheader is played this Thursday at the Emirates. If you would like to bet on this game, this Arsenal vs. Atletico Madrid match preview is a good source of information.
Arsenal are currently on the 6th spot in the Premier League and the chances are that they will stay there as there are only four more rounds left to play. Obviously, that’s not a big achievement for a side that’s won the English top flight 11 times in its history. Still, Arsene Wenger’s team has a chance to salvage the season. I’m talking about winning the Europa League.
Arsenal have never won the UEFA Europa League or its predecessor, the UEFA Cup, so they have another reason to give their utmost in the games against Atleti. But, do the Gunners have the quality to outplay the Spanish side?
Arsenal have a number of top-quality players in the squad, but as always, some of them are struggling with fitness. One of their key men, Mezut Ozil is having a slight injury problem, but is expected to play on Thursday. The same goes for Mkhitaryan, who is having a problem with his knee. Mohamed Elneny, on the other hand, who’s been playing regularly in the last couple of months, is definitely out of the team due to a foot injury.
But, even though some players are struggling with fitness, they are expected to perform well in front of their crowd at the Emirates. Actually, Arsenal have been amazing on their own turf. They have won each of their previous six games played at this stadium, scoring 20 goals along the way.
Atleti have won this competition twice, in 2010 and 2012. They definitely want to add another trophy to their collection, but they have other things to worry about as well. They’re currently at the second place in La Liga, with Real Madrid breathing by their necks with just four points less. The point difference can get even smaller as Los Blancos have played one match fewer than their city rivals.
What this means is that Atletico won’t be able to focus entirely on the Europa League. The good news is that their schedule in La Liga isn’t too difficult, but the problem is that they seem to be lacking players. There are only 18 players in Atletico Team A, so they’ll probably have to ask their reserves to help out.
Still, for the clash with Arsenal, you can be certain that Diego Simeone will pick his strongest side. The chances are that Atleti will play defensively and try to score an away goal from counterattacks. If they manage to score a goal in England, even a defeat wouldn’t mean that they’re out of the completion – they would still have a chance to fix the things next week in Madrid.
- Mohamed Elneny (injury)
- Santi Cazorla (injury)
- Sead Kolasinac (doubtful)
- Jack Wilshere (doubtful)
- Mesut Ozil (doubtful)
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan (doubtful)
Atletico Madrid absentees:
- Filipe Luis (injury)
- Juanfran (injury)
Cech – Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin, Monreal – Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil – Welbeck, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang
Oblak – Godin, Gimenez, Vrsaljko, Lucas Hernandez – Koke, Thomas, Saul, Correa – Griezmann, Costa
Arsenal vs. Atletico Madrid Match Prediction
Arsenal need to go for a win in this game, but considering that Atletico is one of the best teams in the world when it comes to defending, the Gunners won’t have easy time. And considering that Arsenal’s defense has been super-leaky this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if Atletico managed to win this game.
Arsenal vs. Atletico Madrid Betting Tips
- AH Atletico Madrid +1.5 @1.15 (bet365)
- Double Chance X2 @1.54 (Unibet)