Arsenal has one last shot at sending Arsene Wenger out as a trophy winner, but it must overcome Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano to reach the Europa League final.

By 90Min
May 02, 2018

Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger has one last shot at European glory with the Gunners, after confirming that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

The aggregate score is currently 1-1 as Arsenal travel to Atlético Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium for the second leg on Thursday.

This match will be Wenger's 250th European game in charge of the Gunners and his side will be favourites to win the final in Lyon should they progress on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Atlético Madrid will be looking to make the most of home advantage as they host Arsenal at Wanda Metropolitano. Atlético boss Diego Simeone looks set to stick with his trusted 4-4-2 heading into this tie. 


Previous Encounter

Arsenal and Atlético never played each other until the first leg, only ever meeting in a preseason Emirates Cup game that finished 2-1 to Arsenal back in 2009.

The first leg took place just last week and the aggregate score is currently 1-1 thanks to goals from French strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Antoine Griezmann.

Atlético were at a disadvantage from early on, when defender Šime Vrsaljko was shown a red card after picking up two bookings just nine minutes into the match.

However, the Spaniards performed admirably, with Thomas Partey dropping into defense and Antoine Griezmann playing a deeper role to compensate for their numerical disadvantage. Simeone's men saw themselves go in level at the break.

Lacazette gave Arsenal the lead on the hour mark, when he got onto the end of a Jack Wilshere cross to head home and give the Gunners the lead.

Griezmann, tipped for a move to Barcelona, took advantage of some poor defending from Arsenal to fire home the equalizer with just 10 minutes remaining on the clock.


Key Battles

Diego Costa vs Laurent Koscielny

Diego Costa will be looking to rediscover his form after a less than impressive performance in Atlético's 1-0 victory over Alves last weekend.

The former Chelsea striker was playing his first game in three weeks and will now be looking to rekindle his partnership with Griezmann.

Costa will be a familiar opponent for the Arsenal defense but, likewise, the Arsenal defense will be familiar to Costa. This will make for an interesting battle at the back and whoever gets on top of this will give their side control of the tie.


Ángel Correa vs Héctor Bellerín

Atlético's 23-year-old winger Ángel Correa will be in for a tough evening as he comes up against one of Europe's most talented right backs in Héctor Bellerín.

However, if Arsenal are disorganized when Bellerín attacks high up the pitch, they could present opportunities for Correa to exploit the space left behind and cause problems for the Arsenal defense.

Correa is not known for scoring goals, however he is a joy to watch with the ball at his feet and can create opportunities out of nothing. A serious threat to the Arsenal side.


Team News

Atlético Madrid will be without Vrsaljko who is suspended after picking up a red card in the first leg at the Emirates Stadium.

Meanwhile, Costa is back in action after playing his first game in three weeks against Alves last week.

Goalkeeper David Ospina is set to start for Arsenal as he continues to feature in cup competitions under Wenger.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is also expected to continue his comeback from injury after playing and scoring against Manchester Untied at the weekend.


Atlético Madrid predicted lineup: Oblak; Gimenez, Godin, Savic, Hernandez; Koke, Gabi, Saul Niguez, Correa; Costa, Griezmann.

Arsenal predicted lineup: Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey; Ozil, Mkhitaryan; Lacazette.


Prediction

It will be hard to see a mostly full-strength Atlético Madrid side conceding goals at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium. 

Despite Arsenal's desire to earn European glory in Wenger's final season, Simeone's side may just have too much for the Gunners on this occasion.

Griezmann and Costa are capable of striking an unstoppable partnership. In fact, Atlético's team is built on a string of successful partnerships across the park in their rigid 4-4-2 formation.

Prediction: Atlético Madrid 1-0 Arsenal (2-1 on aggregate)

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