Big Match Breakdown: Arsenal v AC Milan
A place in the quarter-finals is at stake
Arsenal and AC Milan both know that the Europa League may offer their best chance of getting into next season’s Champions League.
But Arsenal are in the driving seat in their last-16 tie, having won 2-0 at the San Siro in the first leg.
Can they get the result they need on home soil? Or will Milan pile more pressure on Arsene Wenger? The Coral News Team have all the pre-match lowdown…
Head to Head
These sides had met twice previously in the last decade before being drawn together here. Arsenal triumphed 2-0 on aggregate in 2007-08. Milan ran out 4-3 winners four years later.
It’s worth noting that none of the previous seven clashes between them have seen both sides score. Five games have been Won to Nil and the other two finished 0-0.
Danny Welbeck’s set to lead the line for Arsenal as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible. Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Laurent Koscielny should also come back in after being rested last weekend.
Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso has no fresh injury concerns so he could name the same XI that started the first leg.
The Gunners don’t need to chase the game, so Aaron Ramsey will need to make sure he doesn’t leave Granit Xhaka isolated in midfield. Arsenal’s defence has looked very shaky this season. They need all the protection they can get.
Milan didn’t cause many problems in the first leg though. If the hosts control possession they should be able to see this game out without too much trouble.
Arsenal have kept five clean sheets in seven Europa League games this season. As mentioned previously, the matches between these two clubs tend to feature just one side scoring. Arsenal to Win to Nil is 5/2.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has scored in his last two appearances, including the opener in Milan last week. The January arrival is 15/8 to continue his streak and score Anytime.
Patrick Cutrone could be the visitors’ best hope of getting back into this tie as an 11/5 Anytime goalscorer.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing