Europe Europa League
(03 May 2018)
Atletico Madrid – Arsenal
Match Preview: The Gunners aim to keep their Europa League dream alive
This tie is evenly balanced but, following Antoine Griezmann’s late equaliser at the Emirates Stadium last Thursday, Atletico Madrid is certainly in control of the Europa League semi-final. They had to play with 10 men for 80 minutes after right back Šime Vrsaljko was sent off.
Though Arsenal dominated the rest of the fixture and created plenty of openings, they managed to score just once and were punished for some inattentive defending. This was the complete opposite of Atletico, who seemed to become even more solid after losing a man, and they are perhaps Europe’s best defensive club – they have conceded just 18 times in La Liga.
Arsenal will now have to go to the Wanda Metropolitano and score at least once if they are to advance to the final and keep their hopes of a Champions League place still alive; elimination would effectively end Arsene Wenger’s final season with three games to go.
Though Madrid has lost just twice at their new home all season, one of those was to Chelsea in the group stages of the Champions League – this will give their fellow Premier League club a belief that they too can produce one of their great European performances to come away with a win. Given that they cannot really finish any higher than sixth place in the league, this is the Gunners’ most important game since they were beaten in the 2006 Champions League final by Barcelona.
The two teams have been in very different form in recent matches, with Atletico losing just once in their last five, with Arsenal, conversely winning just once. Last weekend saw an under-strength team beaten by Manchester United, but Thursday’s visitors should at least have some fresh legs.
In terms of odds, Tipbet has over 100 for each of the Europa League semi-finals and Atletico are at 1.75 to win the second leg. Arsenal is available at 3.20 to advance to a European final, with extra-time a possibility at 4.70.
There are many more markets to bet on before the big game, and all are available at Tipbet.com.