Arsenal earned a 2-0 win at the San Siro in the first leg and has its sights set on a place in the Europa League quarterfinals.

By 90Min
March 14, 2018

Arsenal host Serie A giants AC Milan at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League last 16 tie.

Arsene Wenger's side are in full control after they strolled past I Rossoneri 2-0 at San Siro.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave the visitors the lead with his first goal for the club since his January move from Manchester United, before Aaron Ramsey deservedly doubled their advantage seconds from the break.

Both teams head into the game on the back of league victories. Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win over a lacklustre Watford at the Emirates, while Milan clinched three points away to Genoa with a last minute winner. 


Classic Encounter 

Milan romped to a 4-0 victory when they hosted Arsenal back in 2012. Kevin-Prince Boateng struck to give Milan the lead, before a double from Robinho saw Milan find themselves 3-0 up and Arsenal's European hopes were left in tatters.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic added insult to injury from the penalty spot, inflicting one of Arsenal's heaviest European defeats ever.

In the second leg in North London, Arsenal looked on course for a stunning comeback as they fired home three first-half goals to reduce the aggregate score to 4-3.

Goals from Laurent Koscielny and Tomas Rosicky, and a Robin van Persie penalty, saw the 

Gunners go into the break 3-0 ahead on the night. However, they couldn't manage to add to their tally in the second half and were knocked out of the competition with a 4-3 aggregate loss.


Recent Form

Recorded last six home & away games

Arsenal's Home Record: WLLWWW

The Gunners haven't had the best of seasons, but their home form has been quite steady over the course of the campaign. While Arsene Wenger's side might be 6th in the overall Premier League table, they have the third best home record - having won 11 out of a possible 15 league games and lost only twice.

Nevertheless, defeat at the Emirates to Swedish side Ostersunds in the previous Europa League round will offer I Rossoneri some hope. 

Milan's Away Record: WWWWDW

Milan have undergone a miraculous rejuvenation in recent months and their away form has been key to their upturn in fortunes. The Serie A side have won their last four games away from the San Siro - in which they have scored 10 goals without conceding any. 


Team News: 

Arsenal are likely to welcome back Spanish duo Hector Bellerin, who has recovered from a knee injury, and Nacho Monreal, who has recovered from a minor back problem. Mesut Ozil is also expected to be fit after picking up a minor knock. 

Shkodran Mustafi is a doubt, however, after the centre back suffered a groin injury in the Gunners' 3-0 victory over Watford at the weekend. 

The visitors, on the other hand, will have the same squad available to them as in the reverse fixture, with full back Davide Calabria having been rested in their weekend win over Genoa. 


Key Battles

In defense, both Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal will have to be wary of the threat posed by Milan's full back pairing of Davide Calabria and Ricardo Rodriguez, both of whom are likely to push high up in support of their strikers. 

That, in turn, will leave space for Arsenal's full backs to to exploit and the two Spaniards will need to be wary of when to venture forward and when to stay back. 

In midfield, Milan will need to do what they couldn't at the San Siro and stop Arsenal's attacking trio of Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Wilshere (who will probably interchange with Ramsey in the No. 10 position). 

That means Lucas Biglia, and Franck Kessie in particular, will need to perform a lot better than they did in the reverse leg and limit space in front of their back four. 

In attack, Milan will once again go with the Suso/Cutrone/Calhanoglu combination. Youngster Cutrone likes to drift out to the left and so Bellerin will need some help from the midfield. 

Welbeck didn't look like scoring at the San Siro, but his continuous runs were the catalyst to opening up space in the middle which was then exploited by the Arsenal midfield. Against a Milan side who need to attack, Welbeck's pace could prove to be decisive on the counter, especially against veteran Bonucci.  


Prediction

Despite their recent run of form, Milan were so poor in the home leg that it was easy to see why they're only sixth in the Serie A. I Rossoneri don't possess the most proficient attack, and instead rely on their resolute defense - which looked shaky at the San Siro. 

At the Emirates, however, Gatusso's side will have to venture forward a lot more than they would like to, which should play into Arsenal's hands.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Milan 

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)