Arsenal will continue their quest for a European trophy when they face Atletico Madrid in Thursday in the first leg of the semi finals of the Europa league. This coming after it has been confirmed that Arsene Wenger will be stepping aside at the end of the season, the news sure to give the squad an extra push in getting to the final.
However, there are few players who won’t be fit for this game.
David Ospina was in goal for Arsenal in the last league game against West Ham as Petr Cech was out due to a minor injury. He is expected to continue in goal in this encounter as he is also the first choice in cup games. Ospina will be charged with keeping a clean sheet against one of the deadliest attack in Europe.
Arsenal’s most consistent back four lineup has been Bellerin and Monreal at full backs with Koscielny and Mustafi pairing at the heart of the defence. They will have to be at their best as the likes of Grizemann and Torres will keep pushing them to the limit to commit errors, and with Mustafi low on confidence after poor performances recently, the Spaniards will no doubt be targeting the German.
This is the department Arsenal will be missing some of its most informed players. Mohammed Elneney was confirmed by the club on Monday to be missing the Atletico match while Mkhitaryan is back from injury but will probably not be back in time to start the game. This means that Wenger will have to go with Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere at central midfield with Xhaka responsible for the defensive duties in the game. Mesut Ozil completes a four man midfield should he recover from his ‘illness’.
Danny Welbeck has been in an incredible form lately and this could be the key to Arsenal success in the game. He will be playing alongside Alexandre Lacazette as Aubameyang remains cup-tied.