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Atletico Madrid v Arsenal: Preview, confirmed line-ups & predicted score

By on May 3, 2018

david ospina arsenal

Arsenal’s season rests on the second leg of our Europa League semi-final with Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano this evening.

We can’t finish in the top four in the Premier League so winning the Europa is the only chance left for us to get back in to the Champions League next season.

That’s obviously huge for the club but it’s also important to win a European competition and it would be the icing on the cake if we could send Arsene Wenger away with a trophy under his arm.

Sadly, we blew a golden opportunity to take control of the tie after only managing to draw 1-1 against a Madrid side that played 80 minutes of the first leg with 10-men.

The performance was great at the Emirates but poor finishing, great goalkeeping and woeful defending cost us an important victory. We really should have been holding at least a 2-0 lead heading in to tonight’s game but it wasn’t to be.

Let’s face it, it wouldn’t feel like Arsenal if we did things the easy way, so it was no surprise to see Antoine Griezmann pounce on our sloppy defending to score the equaliser last week.

Team News

We rested plenty of first team players during the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday afternoon but some of those that did play picked up knocks.

Thankfully, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Sead Kolasinac, Alex Iwobi and David Ospina have all recovered in time to make the trip to Spain this evening.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible so Alexandre Lacazette starts up front but Mo Elneny and Santi Cazorla remain out through injury.

alexandre lacazette

Confirmed line-ups

Atletico

Oblak; Thomas, Giménez, Godín, Lucas; Vitolo, Saúl, Gabi, Koke; Costa, Griezmann.

Subs: Werner, Luis, Savic, Olabe, Torres, Correa, Gamiero

Arsenal

Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Ramsey; Wilshere, Ozil, Welbeck; Lacazette.

Subs: Cech, Iwobi, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Nketiah, Mkhitaryan

Predicted score

This is a monumental task for Arsenal. We’re up against the meanest defence in Europe as Madrid have conceded just 4 goals at home all season and have kept 11 consecutive clean sheets at the Wanda Metropolitano so it’s going to be tough just to score the 1 goal [at least] we need. Then we have to worry about keeping a clean sheet ourselves, which is a rarity these days, so things don’t look good.

However, I’m not sure Atletico will play any different to how they did in the first leg. They are a defensive team who’ll sit back with 10 men behind the ball and we still managed to create plenty of chances at the Emirates so I fancy us to score. My heart is saying we can nick a 2-1 win as long as we don’t make any silly mistakes at the back. My head is saying a 2-0 Madrid win.

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