Big Match Focus: Arsenal v AC Milan

Arsenal, Liga Europa
AC Milan have it all to do if they are to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit in Thursday's Europa League last-16 second leg tie against an improving Arsenal in London. 
 
Europa League 
Date: 15 March 2018
Kick-off: 20:05 local time
Venue: Emirates Stadium     
Referee: J. Eriksson
Assistants: M. Klasenius, D. Warnmark
Fourth official: M. Culum 
 
Head-to-head summary: 
 
TEAM             MATCHES  WIN   DRAW   LOSS
 
Arsenal 6 3 2 1
AC Milan 6 1 2 3

Previous encounter: 
 
AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal (8 March 2018) Europa League 
 
Arsenal goalscorers: H. Mkhitaryan (15') A. Ramsey (45+4') 
 
Players to watch:
 
With a goal in the first leg win in Italy and another strike in the 3-0 Premier League victory over Watford last weekend, Henrikh Mkhitaryan appears to be adapting well to life with the Gunners since his move from Manchester United. While the 29-year-old never hit the heights with the Red Devils, there are signs he is hitting top form. The Armenia international will be one to watch in England's capital.

Andre Silva, Milan's £34million signing from Porto ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, could be the key man in attack for the Italian giants. He scored the late winner against Genoa last weekend and he has plenty of international pedigree with 11 goals for Portugal in 18 appearances. The 22-year-old will reportedly start for I Rossoneri on Thursday.
 
Team form and manager quotes:
 
For the home side, boss Arsene Wenger is hopeful of continuing a recent good run which has seen wins over Milan as well as Watford in the Premier League. 
 
While the Londoners are realistically out of the race for a top-four finish, Wenger is optimistic of maintaining the winning streak. 
 
He said: "Consistency is a sign of quality. That is the most important quality for me. Sometimes when you have a negative spirit it's difficult to get out. That's why it was important for us to turn the corner. 
 
"If you lose the first one and it's a massive game like we faced in the Cup (it makes it harder)".  

Prior to the defeat to Arsenal, manager Gennaro Gattuso's men had not lost in 13 matches and had won 10 of those games in all competitions as well. 
 
A late victory over Genoa last Sunday has also boosted spirits, however, Gattuso understands it will be a tough task at the Emirates. 
 
He said: "We've still got a 30 per cent chance of going through and we're not going to London for a holiday. 

"We need to respect our glorious shirts. The league table is finally looking pretty for us. Our objective is there in front of us, but we've got to take things game by game." 

Team news: 
 
For the hosts, Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal are back in contention following injury but Alexandre Lacazette is out. Striker  Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is unavailable as he is cup-tied in Europe after appearing earlier in the season for Borussia Dortmund.
 
For the visitors, Ignazio Abate, Luca Antonelli, Davide Calabria, Andrea Conti, Gustavo Gomez, Matteo Gabbia and Jose Mauri are all out. Andre Silva will reportedly start in attack after his heroics against Genoa last weekend. 

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