Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid
UEFA Europa League Semifinal 1st Leg
Date: Thursday, 26th April 2018
Kick-off at 20:05 UK/ 21:05 CET
Venue: Emirates Stadium (London).
Arsenal go head-to-head with Atletico Madrid for the first time in Europe as teams look to finish their campaign with a silverware.
The Gunners will be keen to make home advantage count in this double legged tie as winning Europa League remains their only door to Champions League next season.
Meantime, pressure is little on the Madrid outfit as they are guaranteed a top four positions in La Liga and their route to Champions League is clear for the coming campaign.
Arsenal survived a scare in the quarter final second leg against CSKA despite carrying a 4-1 lead from the first leg. They were down by 2 goals inside the hour mark, but late strikes from Welbeck and Ramsey restored the lead in a 6-3 aggregate win.
Atletico were ever solid over the two legs against Sporting CP and saw through the tie with a 2-0 home and 1-0 away win to reach this far.
Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid: Head-to-head
Thursday mark the first competitive meeting between Arsenal and Atletico Madrid.
The only meeting between the two sides I can recollect is a friendly at the Emirates in 2009 won by Wenger’s men on a 2-1 margin.
Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid: Prediction
Arsenal look ever solid while playing at their own turf and not many teams denied them full points at this venue. I am aware that the likes of Mesut Ozil and Wilshere are unavailable for this tie, but this may not make a big difference in their performance at the Emirates.
Meantime, Atletico are a shadow of their own from previous seasons and their strong area of play which used to be their defense is often breached, especially by lower ranked La Liga sides in away games.
Therefore, I see an Arsenal win here, but expect both teams to get on the score sheet.
Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid: Bet Tips
Both teams to Score @ 1.86 odds with 1xBet has to be a banker.
While brave punters can back the Arsenal win priced at 2.63 by the same firm.
Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid: Team News and Predicted Starting Line-ups
Arsenal Team News
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not eligible to play for Arsenal in UEFA competitions this season having already played for Dortmund in the Champions League.
El Neny and Santi Cazorla and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are the players confirmed to be in the sidelines for the Gunners.
While Wenger remains positive on the fitness reports of Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere, yet this will be a call made closer to the kick-off.
Arsenal Predicted Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Cech – Monreal, Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin – Xhaka, Ramsey – Ozil, Wilshere, Welbeck – Lacazette.
Atletico Madrid Team News
The injury to Diego Costa is a huge blow to Ateltico’s chances in this tie.
The full-backs Felipe Luis and Juanfran are the only other casualties in the Rojiblancos squad.
Atletico Madrid Predicted Starting Line-up (4-4-2)
Oblak – Vrsaljko, Savic, Godin, Hernandez – Koke, Partey, Niguez, Correa – Gameiro, Griezmann.