Arsenal have eased the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger for the time being after excellent performances away to AC Milan in the Europa League and at home to Watford in Premier League action in the last week.
The Gunners now host Reno Gattuso’s side in the return leg of the European fixture, holding all the cards for progression to the quarter-finals following a convincing 2-0 win in Italy.
Gunners back on track
While Wenger will be delighted to see his side score five in their last two matches, two successive clean sheets in all competitions for the first time since late December will be just as pleasing for the Frenchman.
Arsenal inflicted a first defeat in 12 matches upon Milan with their 2-0 win at the San Siro, and the north London side will look to put the tie to bed with a win and continue much needed momentum in the competition.
The Europa League is the Gunners’ last shot at silverware this year and knowing that winning the trophy will guarantee the club an automatic place in next season’s Champions League will surely be enough for their stars to rise to the occasion.
Arsenal won their only match against AC Milan at the Emirates so far, a 3-0 win in the Champions League back in 2012 and will fancy their chances after last week’s comfortable win.
Arsene Wenger’s men are 26/25 to grab a win on the night to see them through to the next round.
Milan have it all to do
AC Milan have a mountain to climb to reverse this score line. The Italians will need to score three times to see off Arsenal in ninety minutes, and while they did just that on the road to Ludogrets in the last round, doing so at the Emirates presents a totally different challenge.
Gattuso’s side sit sixth in Serie A, despite extending their unbeaten run in domestic action to 12 matches following a dramatic stoppage time winner from André Silva at Genoa.
The Rossoneri’s never say die attitude has been clear for all to see since Gattuso took over, and they will need a lot of that defiance to win this one.
Arsenal to progress in style
It’s not Arsenal’s style to ‘see out’ matches, and I don’t fancy this fixture to pass us by without some sort of entertainment by way of goals.
The Gunners fans are never too confident with any sort of narrow advantage, but there’s a lot at stake here and I fancy them to go through and continue their scoring form in the process.
I’m going to go for another Arsenal win and both teams to score, which can be backed at 5/2.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan looks to finally have found his feet at his new club, and he’ll be a threat after scoring two in his last two. Seven of the last ten goals the Armenian has scored has been in the Europa League, and he’s good value to score any time at 11/4.