latest football news in Nigeria

Atletico v Arsenal: All you need to know, teams news

Europa League By: Ambrose Udeme | 03/05/2018

Atletico Madrid have the edge against as they seek a third final since 2010 thanks to an Antoine Griezmann's away goal at the Emirates Stadium last week.

Both sides reconvene for the second leg of their semi-final at the Estadio Metropolitano following a first-leg 1-1 draw in London – a match in which the Spanish visitors were reduced to ten men after just ten minutes but managed to snatch a late equaliser that has strengthened their bid to reach a third UEFA Europa League final.

Although unbeaten on their 2018 travels in Europe, the Gunners have lost seven out of eight domestic away fixtures this year, including six straight Premier League defeats.

Arsenal's trip to the Wanda Metropolitano will be Arsene Wenger's 250th European game in charge of the Gunners and against an Atletico side who boast the meanest defence in La Liga, having only conceded three goals at home in 2018, Wenger says "history has to stop somewhere" as the Gunners aim to secure their third European final of his reign.

Who's in, who's out?

Mkhitaryan and Iwobi have both travelled to Spain after fitness tests. Mkhitaryan scored on his comeback on Sunday against Manchester United following a knee ligament injury but then came off after a blow to his knee.

Iwobi is also available after a hamstring strain and his presence could further boost options off the bench. Wenger did not make a substitution in the first leg. Wenger also confirmed that Ospina will start in goal on Thursday ahead of Petr Cech.

Atletico manager Diego Simeone on his touchline ban and the availability of Filipe Luis.

"I'm fine with the fact that Germán [Burgos] will be on the bench tomorrow. We have known each other from a very young age and understand each other with a single gesture. He's trained to lead the players tomorrow.

"He (Filipe) has been out for two months so obviously he isn't quite ready to play 90 minutes. But we are in an important stretch of the competition where important players like Felipe have done wonders. If I need him, he will be there."

Match facts

Arsenal are winless in their past six European visits to Spain (D2 L4), last winning in February 2006, - a 1-0 victory against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

On the previous two occasions, Arsenal have drawn the first leg of a European semi-final, they've progressed to the final (1979-80 and 1993-94 Cup Winners Cup).

However, the past five teams to achieve a score-draw away from home in the first leg of a major European semi-final have progressed to the final, including both teams in the Europa League (Dnipro in 2014-15 and Sevilla in 2015-16).

Atletico have lost just one of their past 17 home games in European competition (W13 D3), but that was to an English side (Chelsea in the CL group stage this season).

The Gunners are aiming to qualify for their sixth major European final, and third under Arsene Wenger - they reached the Uefa Cup final in 2000 and Champions League final in 2006 under the Frenchman, losing both.

Alexandre Lacazette has had a hand in 13 goals in his past 13 Europa League starts (11 goals, two assists).

In the first leg, Arsenal had 28 shots - only Real Sociedad against Vardar (32) in October have had more in a single game in the Europa League this season.

Should Arsenal progress from this tie, it'd be the first time two English sides had made the final of the two major European competitions since 2005-06 (Arsenal in the Champions League, Middlesbrough in the Uefa Cup).
1