Arsenal v Atletico Madrid Preview Line-up and Score prediction

Everybody has been saying that Atletico Madrid should be favourites to win this competition ever since they dropped out of the Champions League but I don’t think that they are going to be that hard to beat, as a long hard season is taking it’s toll on Diego Simeone’s side. Let’s look at their current form…

As you can see they played those six games over the course of just 17 days, and simply don’t have enough players to rotate so fatigue is affecting all areas. They have lost 3 of their last 4 away games as well so confidence could be low tonight (like Arsenal’s away form!). They still sit second in La Liga but Real Madrid are just 4 points behind and have a game in hand, so they can’t afford to rest any of their fit players.

In contrast Arsenal have hit a rich vein of form as the end of the season approaches. Let’s look at our last six games…

We may be rubbish away from home, like Atletico, but our home form has been top notch, scoring at least three in each of our last six matches at the Emirates. We need to do that one more time if we are going to go to Madrid with every chance of going to the Final.

Diego Simeone is under no illusions that the Gunners will be tough to get past. “We’re going to face a tough team. Arsenal have an important history in Europe,” he said. “Both clubs want to play the final.”

“We’re going to play in a marvelous stadium,” he continued. “Their fans are going to be 100 percent dedicated to the team.”

And the importance of scoring lots tonight cannot be undervalued. If Atletico have been poor away recently, you cannot say that about their home form as they have not even conceded one goal in their last ELEVEN games at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. One away goal from any side could settle the tie and Arsene Wenger knows that. “The rules in Europe make the weight of an away goal very strong.” the Boss said. “That’s why when you play the first game at home, you’re a little bit in a difficult psychological situation because you know that you have to score but as well that every goal you concede can be a huge handicap.”

So it will be interesting tonight. Will Atletico come over and defend like hell and look for a breakaway, and will Arsenal do the same? Or will both sides just go for it? It’s a fine line….

Anyway, so to our team news. We have two definite absences as Wenger told us: “Mkhitaryan is not back in the squad and Mohamed Elneny is out for the rest of the season.” and Aubameyang can’t play, so this is the team I’m predicting Wenger will put out…

Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal
Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey
Ozil, Welbeck

Arsenal need to score early to give us a chance to have a more open game, and with Lacazette and Welbeck back in top form I see no reason why we can’t stamp our authority on the match. The only problem is that with our dodgy defence I just can’t see us not conceding either, so I am going to go for a 3-1 win but I still wouldn’t be sure if that would be enough to take to Spain. 3-0 would be better…



  1. Big G says:

    As an Arsenal fan I now guess most of us would want us to win the EL even if it is just so the players end the season on a high which would be good for the next manager whoever that may be and the club itself. However this tie really is a slippery banana skin that could go either way with both sides struggling for form and will need to be at our best at home in order to progress. I for one cannot split them apart so “come on Arsenal, make us proud”.

    1. tas says:

      Big G you stole my words, OK you say it better 🙂

      1. Jene Reuben says:

        If you’re afraid of Mustafi what of Bellerin who never stays to mind his wing? Our problems are we don’t mark, no team would beat Arsenal in England or in Europe if we are marking as our opponents mark us. Jene Reuben.

  2. Sparkles says:

    My biggest fear for this fixture is Mustaphi. The guy seems to be getting worse by the day and has become really terrible in the defense. Too many errors, poor positioning, but good physicality and agility though. I think we will scale through with a 3-1 win.

    1. Vanpayslip, Esq - Founder of the Iwobi out of Arsenal Trust says:

      I’m more worried about Iwobi. If he starts I can see us actually losing the tie due to his sloppiness in possession and wayward passing halting every attack we create.

      1. Kedar91 says:

        I don’t understand why 1 player would be responsible for loss??? Match will be 11 against 11 and not 1 against 11….
        Iwobi could be weak one but what other 10 players would be doing???

        1. Vanpayslip, Esq - Founder of the Iwobi out of Arsenal Trust says:

          You say that but in the West Ham match we could actually have lost that one due to Iwobi clogging up the whole system. When he went off the difference was night and day and everything clicked

      2. gotanidea says:

        The older player could be negatively criticized if they do not contribute, because their development has stopped

        But hot prospects like Iwobi need a lot of support from us

        1. Vanpayslip, Esq - Founder of the Iwobi out of Arsenal Trust says:

          A lot of support to find another club

  3. ThirdManJW says:

    People keep talking of our good home form, but it’s not actually that good when faced with quality opposition. Both Manchester clubs beat us, scored 3, and should have scored many more! We drew with Chelsea, and Liverpool, but they both should have easily have beaten us, as they squandered so many clear goal scoring opportunities. Great win against Spurs, and a hard fought victory against Chelsea in the league cup. So it really should have been 4 defeats from 6.

    So I am not sure on tonight, as we have an even worse record against quality teams in Europe. I think we’ll definitely concede, and it’s going to be very tough scoring against Atletico.

    1-1, or 1-2 to Atletico.

    1. Scholar says:

      Did you watch the Man U game we should have scored a hatful!

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        That was about the only time we went down fighting, but I am talking about OUR defence. It was shocking in that game as well. Even if we scored 3 against ManU, we wouldn’t have won. Lingard missed a one-on-one, amongst other opportunities. Our defence is shocking even against poor opposition as well, just look how wide open we were against West Ham!

        Against most teams good or bad, we’ve been needing to average 3/4 goals a game, just to win!

        1. Break-on-through says:

          City is the only team with a better home record, not Liv Manu Che or Tott, only city and that is understandable considering how long they went before going down to someone.

          I still expect a tough encounter though, Atletico will put more effort into stopping us than they will beating us, though the two are not mutually excluded. I feel it’s a fair tie though, fairer than some make out, I still say we would have killed to be facing these instead of the teams we got in other CL years, bar the Monaco underrating. That Monaco team was used as a way of saying how average we were, but it turned out that they had some pretty top looking players all same the likes of which you do not want to underestimate.

    2. John Ibrahim says:

      against Man utd we would have score 5 or 6 goals not for the mighty De Gea

      1. Sue says:

        I hope we do that on Sunday ?

    3. RSH says:

      unfortunately you are right. We beat all the small and midtable teams at home, which is great, but rest of top 6 don’t do too bad at Emirates. Arsenal will need to be much better than we have been lately if we want to stand a chance. Atleti love knockout tournaments and know how to get an away result. They are the favorites and we will need to be close to perfect

  4. John Ibrahim says:

    a win depends on our defense and finishing

    only 3 players in the team Welbeck, Ramsay and Kos are playing at 200% to win it for Wenger

    1. Pablo Picasso says:

      John it kind of feels that way doesn’t it, but I would throw Nacho in there as well.

      Ozil – couldn’t care less
      Bellarine – more worried about his hair
      Mustaphi – just brainless
      Xhaka – average
      Wilshere – might be glad deep down considering Wenger almost passed him on early in the season
      Lacca – wishing he was playing along side Griezman

      Might be wrong though. I feel for his first 2 seasons the new manager will be getting rid of most of our current players. Wenger was not the only cancer at the club.

      1. John Ibrahim says:

        monreal is hardworking too

        laca is too new ………most french players would want to win it for wenger if they are here longer
        pretty sure Giroud tooo if hes still here

        exactly the rest of the players are too into their looks hair clothes or women…they might as switch career to be a model…xhaka stands a good chance

      2. RSH says:

        such a shame you are correct about Ozil. I still think the contract extension was a huge mistake. In the end it was probably cheaper to let him go and get a CAM the new manager would like. Ozil is just happy to get paid. Even if new manager doesnt like him and he rides bench, it will be impossible to sell him anywhere else and he will just see out his outrageous contract.

  5. st sass says:

    what ever the Line up since its arsenal am going for a win with a three goal margin. the writings are on the wall. Arsenal are champions.

  6. Andrew E says:

    I’ll be happy if we just win and then take our chances in the 2nd leg. Atletico are a very difficult team to score against, shutting teams out is their speciality so I don’t expect a high scoring match.

    My main concern is our defence and how they will cope with Griezemann and Costa, it’s a difficult game to call. I too do not think Iwobi should start, with all that manic running about he is one of the most ineffective players at the club. A great shame because he showed real promise a couple of years ago and has probably gone backwards. When Wenger goes he will also go.

    I would take a 1-0 and hope to score an away goal in the return match.

    1. John Ibrahim says:

      costa knows how to play dirty and get our players.sent off

      holding took good care.of him….last year

  7. Pablo Picasso says:

    For all those slating Iwobi, here’s to hoping Jack doesn’t run around like a headless chicken tonight.

    His been huffing and puffing lately, poor lad has not played so many games in a row in past seasons his only effective for 40 minutes or so. Sad state of our team, when you remove Jack and Iwobi who else can come in and battle against the likes of Koke and Saul.

    What the heck I say throw in a midfield 3 of Xhaka – Ramsey – Niles. Atleast the kid is more composed, athletic and can be disciplined, freeing up the front 3 players plus Ramsey to bomb forward.

    1. I says:

      Well said

    2. RSH says:

      good shout. I’d also start AMN over Wilshere. It tactically does make more sense if you want to unleash Ramsey. Wilshere and Xhaka are both poor at covering.

  8. Babasola says:

    Agree with me or not… presently we are a better team to Athletico

    We would see that today

    They were certainly not impressive against Sporting even in their home

  9. Ackshay says:

    damn wenger choose ospina, prepare to get the shit beaten out of us every corner they get. Athletico play rough and ospina will get toss around like a kid. I know cech has been poor sometimes this season but he should have played.

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