Atletico Madrid vs Arsenal - Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi in Arsenal squad for 2nd leg

Posted Thursday, May 03, 2018 by PA

Atletico Madrid vs Arsenal - Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi in Arsenal squad for 2nd leg

Arsenal have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid on Thursday.

The Gunners headed to Spain with the tie finely poised at 1-1 but have the boost of a
fit Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who returned from a knee injury at the weekend having sat out the first leg.

Alex Iwobi has travelled despite suffering a slight hamstring injury in the weekend defeat at Manchester United but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is cup-tied and Mohamed Elneny (ankle) and Santi Cazorla (Achilles) are also out.

Arsenal need to score at least once at the Wanda Metropolitano if they are to have any chance of reaching the final in Lyon later this month.

That will be a tough ask given Diego Simeone’s Atletico have not conceded at home in 11 games and have lost just three times at their new home since taking up residency in September.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: “The history has to stop somewhere.

“That is what we will try to do. In the first game we created chances, that is why we want to create the situation where we created many chances but we didn’t manage to put them in the net.

“We have to keep the same commitment, not focus too much on the way we play. Just how we attack and build the game up from the back.”

Scoring will be one challenge but keeping Atleti at bay will also prove a tough test, especially if fit-again Diego Costa is included for the hosts.

The former Chelsea forward proved a scourge of Arsenal during his time in England, scoring three times in six games against Wenger’s team and often proving more than a thorn in the side of the defence.

He was an unused substitute in London last week as he recovered from a thigh injury but played over an hour in Sunday’s LaLiga win over Alaves.

“In history he has shown he can make the difference,” conceded Wenger.

“He played in England and was very successful. It is our job to keep him quiet. Maybe the way is not to play too much in our half and to play more in the half of Atletico Madrid.”

Atletico boss Simeone admits he will not be happy to sit in the stands following his sending off at the Emirates Stadium last week.

He said: “I won’t carry it too well. I’m sad about the situation and the suspension. I will have to improve and I best not say anything else.

“It is not going to change the way I coach the team, seeing myself on television, it could be understandable, it depends how you see it. It could be interpreted normally as it is just a protest.”

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