Arsenal team news: Arsene Wenger set for selection dilemma for crunch Atletico Madrid clash

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

Thursday 03 May 2018 09:15 BST
Europa League semi-final preview: Atletico Madrid v Arsenal

Arsene Wenger heads into what could be his last-ever European game with a full Arsenal squad to pick from.

The Gunners head to Spain for their Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid 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.

"The history has to stop somewhere," Wenger replied when asked about the sizeable task at hand. "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.

Wenger has a full squad to pick from in Madrid (Arsenal FC)

"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."

Provisional squad: Cech, Ospina, Bellerin, Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Mavropanos, Monreal, Nelson, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Willock, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, Lacazette, Nketiah.

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