Preview - Arsenal vs CSKA Moscow 06 April 2018

Started by Harry85, Apr 04, 2018, 05:19 AM

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Europa League Quarter Final First Leg
Arsenal vs. CSKA Moscow
Friday, April 6th, 2018
04:05 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Emirates Stadium

Last five matches form: L W W W W
EL Average goals per match: 2.30
EL Average goals against per match: 0.7
EL Top Scorer: Danny Welbeck and Sead Kolasinac (2)

CSKA Moscow:
Last five matches form: W L W W W
EL Average goals per match: 1.00
EL Average goals against per match: 0.80
EL Top Scorer: Ahmed Musa, Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Golovin and Pontus Wernbloom (1)

An important game for Arsenal with the Europa League undoubtedly representing the most significant aspect of the remainder of their season. For whilst CSKA Moscow are most definitely in with a chance of qualifying for next seasons Champions League via their domestic league, Arsenal are not. Winning this competition is their only route in and may well represent the difference between Arsene Wenger keeping his job and not. High stakes indeed.

Danny Welbeck looks like missing out up front for the Gunners, whilst Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible. On the plus side Alexandre Lazazette came off the bench at the weekend and is now back to full fitness.

CSKA have three absentees. Viktor Vasin and Mario Fernandes missing out through injury and Kirill Nababkin through suspension.

Arsenal have been largely solid at home this season, winning 19 of 26 at the Emirates in all competitions, losing only three times, once against Manchester City, once against Manchester United and once in this competition with the tie already in safekeeping against Oestersunds.

CSKA only joined this competition after exiting the Champions League and have just about scraped through their two knockout ties to date, firstly by a 1-0 aggregate score line against minnows FK Crvena Zvezda and secondly on away goals vs Lyon.

This looks closely matched on paper but Arsenal's excellence at the Emirates should at least be enough to see them secure a lead going into the second leg.

Prediction: Arsenal 2 - 1 CSKA Moscow


Half time: 4 - 1
Full time: 4 - 1
Shots: 18 - 11
Shots on target: 9 - 4
Corner Kicks: 3 - 4
Possession: 57% - 43%

Pavel Kraovelec booked six here, Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin for the Gunners and Alan Dzagoev, Ahmed Musa, Georgi Shchennikov and Igor Akinfeev for CSKA.

Arsenal started with real intent here and took the lead after just nine minutes. Hector Bellerin breaking down the right before playing a low ball to the back of the six-yard box which Aaron Ramsay met in stride to side foot home.

Six minutes later CSKA Moscow were level. Laurent Koscielny bringing down Aleksandr Golovin around 25 yards from goal. Up Golovin got to curl a beauty into the top corner. 1-1. Soon after that, Ahmed Musa really should have put the visitors in front but could find only the side netting when one on one with the keeper.

Then in the space of 12 first half minutes a goal blitz from a turbo charged Arsenal effectively ended this tie as a contest.

In the 23rd Mesut Ozil was brought down when bearing down on goal by Georgi Shchennikov. Penalty Arsenal. Alexandre Lacazette finding the bottom corner to restore the home sides advantage.

Just five minutes later Oezil turned provider, clipping the ball into the box to find Aaron Ramsey who promptly lobbed the keeper with a flicked outside of the foot volley. Fantastic finish.

The fourth came in the 35th minute, Oezil again proving the creative spark to tee up Lacazette around 14 yards out. An excellent first touch and finish into the bottom corner by the Frenchman. 4-1 at half time.

No further goals in the second period which is surprising given how wide open this match was from start to finish. Ramsey came close to bagging his hat-trick when striking the post from the edge of the area but 4-1 it stayed.

That's five wins in a row now for the Gunners who appear to be finding their best form of the season just as it begins to draw to a close. Their stay in the Europa League does look highly likely to go at least as far as the semi finals now though, with this excellent result leaving CSKA with a mountain to climb.

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