Preview - AC Milan vs Arsenal March 09 2018

Started by Harry85, Mar 06, 2018, 11:35 PM

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Europa League Round of 16
AC Milan vs. Arsenal
Friday, March 9th, 2018
2:00am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: San Siro

AC Milan:
Last five matches form: W W W W W
EL Average goals per match: 2.1
ELAverage goals against per match: 0.8
EL Top Scorer: André Silva (6)

Last five matches form: W L L L L
EL Average goals per match: 1.9
EL Average goals against per match: 0.9
EL Top Scorer: Sead Kolasinic (2)

With both AC Milan's and Arsenal's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League by virtue of their League position being all but dead and buried - particularly so for Arsenal - the pick of the Round of 16 ties has become a match with an awful lot riding on it.

We would certainly expect Arsenal to take this competition very seriously from here on in and field a strong side for their trip to the San Siro. Arsene Wenger's hands are tied to a certain extent though, particularly when it comes to attacking options, with both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang being unavailable for this game.

The League positions of these sides in the Premier League and Serie A may be similar, but the current form of Milan and the Gunners could scarcely be more contrasting. Whereas AC are unbeaten in 13 and arrive on a six match winning streak, Arsenal have lost their last four in all competitions and appear to be approaching rock bottom at present.

On a high following a recent win at Roma and also making the Coppa Italia final when squeezing past Lazio on penalties, this looks like a win for the home side to us. Whereas Wenger faces a few selection problems due to injuries and eligibility, Gennaro Gattuso looks to have a full squad to pick from. Take the in form Rossoneri to add to Arsenal's woes.

Prediction: AC Milan 3-1 Arsenal


Half time: 0 - 2
Full time: 0 - 2
Shots:  16 - 8
Shots on target: 1 - 4
Corner Kicks: 10 - 3
Possession: 51% - 49%

Sead Kolasinac and Aaron Ramsey were booked for the visitors. AC Milan kept in referee Clement Turpin's good books throughout.

AC Milan came out marginally in front in the possession stats and well clear when it came to total shots and corners. It was Arsenal who were way more clinical though, creating the more clear-cut opportunities, and that ultimately was the difference between the two sides.

Chances for both teams in the early stages as Henrikh Mikhtaryan went close for Arsenal, and Patrick Cutrone shot narrowly wide for the hosts.

The deadlock was broken in the 15th minute as the impressive Mikhtrayan once again found space in the box, cutting in from the left to blast past  Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Mikhtaryan nearly doubled the lead from an almost identical position as half-time approached, but this time his shot found the crossbar.

Milan didn't make it into the break without conceding again though. Mesut Özil playing in Aaron Ramsey who rounded the keeper before calmly slotting away.
 0-2 at half time.

AC came roaring out of the gate in the second half in an effort to get back into this, Giacomo Bonaventura having no fewer than four chances in the 15 minutes following the break.

Arsenal seemed to heed this warning and showed unusual discipline and restraint for the remainder of the match, attempting to break up play as often as possible and content to sit on their two goal cushion.

Milan huffed and puffed but they couldn't find the guile to break through. An excellent result for the Gunners in a competition on which their season now hinges. They head to the Emirates for the second leg next week as big favourites to progress to the quarters.

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