Arsenal will be traveling to Wanda Metropolitano for the second leg of Europa League semifinals. This might be the last European game for Arsenal under Arsene Wenger. The late Atletico away goal in the first leg makes the task even more daunting.
Arsenal will field a full-strength squad with most of the first team players rested against Manchester United at the weekend. David Ospina is expected to start despite getting a bruised rib against Manchester United in addition to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, also expected to start instead of Danny Welbeck despite suffering a knock against Manchester United. Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Alexandre Lacazette, Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Mesut Ozil are all expected to start after their weekend off. Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin complete the starting eleven for the Gunners. Sime Vrsaljiko will miss out for Atletico Marid for his red card in the first game. Diego Costa will start after featuring against Alaves. Gabi will start in the midfield with Thomas Partey deputizing at right back for the suspended Sime Vrsalijko. Saun Niguez, Koke, Angel Correa complete the midfield. Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin will start at the back with Lucas Fernandez as the left fullback. Jan Oblak and Antoine Griezmann complete the starting 11.
The Los Rojiblancos boast a formidable home record with clean sheets in last 11 matches in all competitions. In contrast, the Gunners have a dreaded away record, with just 2 wins in the last 12 away games in all competitions. Arsene Wenger is likely to field the same 4-3-2-1 as in the first leg with an emphasis on quick pressing and holding possession to get an early away goal. Atletico Madrid will be with their usual 4-4-2, looking to sit deep and counter on any given chance. The addition of Diego Costa will enhance their ability to hold up the ball when thrown long. Arsenal may look to focus attacks from the left side with no natural right backs in the Atletico ranks. The away goal plays the tactics in the hands of Atletico Madrid as it suits their defensive style of play.
Atletico Madrid is the favorites to go through. The Gunners will have to be disciplined, decisive and ruthless in their performance upfront to make it to final , in addition, Arsenal cannot afford a momentary lapse at the back this time. The match carries a lot of emotions too given the departure of the long-serving manager, Arsene Wenger. This might be an added incentive for the players to overcome such a monumental task of beating Atletico Madrid at home.
Players to watch out: Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Antoine Griezmann and Jan Oblak.