Arsenal’s Europa League quest will face the litmus test on Thursday when they face Atletico Madrid at the Emirates in the first leg of the Semi Final. Only Europa League glory will guarantee the Gunners a Champions League football next season as Arsene Wenger also is set to depart at the end of the season.
Injury and Team News:
Mohammed Elneny is out for the Gunners with a damaged ligament of ankle that he sustained in the last match, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan is also not available. Aubameyang is ineligible to play Europa League but the likes of Mesut Ozil and Petr Cech are expected to return to the starting eleven for the Gunners.
Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been nursing a hamstring problem, but he could be ready to return for Atletico against familiar foes, while experienced defender Juanfran is a doubt for both legs of a crunch clash as he struggles to shake off a thigh complaint. Griezmann is set to lead the line and Fernando Torres will start from the bench.
Arsenal will have to get a positive result at home to have any chance of advancing to the finals. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger announced that he will be leaving the helm after 22 years and this is his chance to sign off with a high. The Gunners boss have never won a continental championship during his reign at North London and this is final chance.
For the Madrid side, they are the favorites and will be eyeing to ruin the party at the Emirates. The 2012 Champions have a great squad and would love to get a positive result against a defensively fragile Arsenal side.
Probable Line Up:
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Xhaka, Wilshere; Ramsey, Ozil, Welbeck; Lacazette
Atletico: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Godin, Savic, Hernandez; Koke, Gabi, Saul, Correa, Vitolo; Griezmann
The match will be broadcast live on Sony Ten 2 and Ten 2 HD from 00.35 IST on Friday for Indian viewers.