Arsenal are the last British team standing in this season’s Europa League as we enter the last 16 stage.
With a top four league now looking gone, this tournament remain Arsenal and Arsene Wenger’s only hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League and a trophy.
Up first is a first leg trip to San Siro to face AC Milan who are hoping to rediscover past glories.
Arsenal will be missing right back, Hector Bellerin here after the Spaniard suffered a knee issue.
Calum Chambers could therefore retain his place in the team.
Alexandre Lacazette, Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal all remain out injured.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligble, having already played in UEFA competition this season with Borussia Dortmund.
AC Milan has a fullback crisis with right backs, Andrea Conti (cruciate ligament) and Ignazio Abate (muscular) ruled out.
Left back, Luca Antonelli is missing with an unconfirmed injury.
Arsenal come into this game in shambolic form with four consecutive defeats, including the last 32 home leg against Ostersunds FK.
In that time, they have only scored twice and conceded 10 goals.
AC meanwhile had their Milan derby league match postponed at weekend, after shock death of Fiorentina captain, Davide Astori saw all of Sunday’s Serie A matches cancelled.
The Italian side have therefore played just once since the round of 32 finished, winning away at AS Roma.
Home wise, AC’s last defeat came on 23rd December to Atalanta and have a (W5 D1) record in all competitions throughout 2018.
- This is the very first meeting outside of Champions League/ Super Cup between these sides.
- From two trips to San Siro, Arsenal have won and lost one but overall trail 4-2 on goal aggregate).
- The last time these teams met in a knockout stage in 2012, both teams won at home without scoring away at other ground. AC Milan won that tie 4-3 on aggregate.
- Arsenal have scored 18 times in this competition this season compared to in league since start of 2018, where they only scored 14 goals.
- AC have netted nine goals at home in Europa League but three of their four recent home games in all competitions have finished 1-0.
Given Arsenal’s woeful form, this is their chance to put things right otherwise their season could start to unravel.
Given AC Milan’s home form in 2018, I can see a draw here just to give Arsenal a shot at home next week.
Prediction: AC Milan 1-1 Arsenal
Result: AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal