AC Milan v. Arsenal: Europa League Preview
AC Milan are set to face Arsenal at the San Siro Thursday evening in the Europa League Round of 16. Milan beat Bulgarian side Ludogorets 4-0 on aggregate to reach this point, while Arsenal beat Swedish side Ostersunds 4-2 over two legs. It is a very exciting fixture as both teams are big names and its a clash you would expect in the Champions League. Both the Rossoneri and the Gunners have been struggling for a few years and are looking to get back to winning ways, therefore, this trophy is important to both squads.
The teams come into this fixture in opposite form. Arsenal have lost 5 of 6 matches, including a 2-1 loss to Ostersunds at the Emirates in the second leg. Milan, in the meantime, are unbeaten in 2018, have qualified for the final of the Coppa Italia and are playing their best football of the season. It should be an entertaining match at the San Siro as both teams will go for goals. While Milan's defense has been one of the best in Italy as of late, they still give up chances because of the team's ambition in attack. Arsenal's defensive woes are well chronicled and they will surely push for an away goal.
MILAN (4-3-3): G. DONNARUMMA; CALABRIA, BONUCCI, ROMAGNOLI, RODRIGUEZ; KESSIE, BIGLIA, BONAVENTURA; SUSO, CUTRONE, CALHANOGLU.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): OSPINA; CHAMBERS, MUSTAFI, KOSCIELNY, KOLASINAC; RAMSEY, XHAKA; MKHITARYAN, OZIL, IWOBI; WELBECK.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
MILAN - Leonardo Bonucci
These are the types of fixtures Milan signed Bonucci for. He has a ton of experiencing in Europe, reaching two finals in three seasons with Juventus, and the Rossoneri will be looking to him to keep the defense together and assure they don't grant Arsenal an away goal.
ARSENAL - Mesut Ozil
While Ozil is having a bit of an up and down season, you can't deny his talent. At his best, he has the ability to cause major problems for the Milan defense, and Arsenal will be hoping he is at his best in this match.
PREDICTION: Milan 1-0 Arsenal
Milan know how important it is to leave this game with a clean sheet, so that will be their focus. Arsenal will be pushing to get an away goal, as that can be the difference between them qualifying or not. Milan should be able to sneak in and get a goal on the counterattack while Arsenal pushes for a goal, and the Rossoneri defense is strong enough to keep Arsenal at bay, especially since they will be without Aubameyang who is cup tied.