Well what a difference a week makes, right?
Going into the first leg of this fixture the confidence around Arsenal was at an all-time low following our four straight losses in all competitions. But since bouncing back with a 2-0 win at the San Siro which was followed up by the 3-0 win over Watford, confidence definitely seems to be back.
Along with the restored confidence coming from those games, the best thing that could’ve come from the last week was getting the away goal in Milan.
As we welcome the Italian side to The Emirates for the first time in five years there’s no doubt that they’ll be looking to spoil the party. However, thanks to the away goal rule their task has been just that little bit harder.
This is even more important considering that Arsenal’s main goal threats are unavailable for selection tonight. As we all know Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is cup tied and Alexandre Lacazette is injured, however, Arsene Wenger did give us some positive news saying that our number nine should be back after the international break.
At this moment in time though that’ll most likely mean that Danny Welbeck will be leading the line tonight, however, hopefully if the circumstances allow there might be an opportunity for Eddie Nketiah to get a run out.
One thing that could halt that though is Arsenal being their own worst enemy. As we saw in the previous Europa League round, complacency was a big problem. So, even though we do have that away goal, meaning AC Milan will have to put at least three past us, nothing is guaranteed just yet.
Especially when you consider than man that’s I charge of the sleeping giants in Gennaro Gattuso. After last week, his side bounced back with an away win over Genoa in Serie A and yes, we’re a totally different proposition but they’ll be looking to replicate that tonight.
Nevertheless, with the resting of players like Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny on the weekend, and with our next game not coming until April 1st we should be going into this game with a fresh, near-full strength side.
Hopefully with such a strong side expected to play, the players involved should have the know-how on how to manage these sorts of games and avoid enough embarrassment like against Ostersunds.
And with this being our only clear path into Champions League football, its fair to say we should probably move all our eggs into the Europa League basket.
So, whose ready for some more Thursday night action? Let’s get our name into the hat for the next round!