Atlético Madrid return to London — the site of their Champions League group stage elimination — to take on Arsenal in the first leg of this Europa League semifinal.
The biggest match of Atlético’s season (so far) sees them duel with the Gunners for the first time in a competitive fixture. The pressure is very much on for the hosts — while Atleti will be in next season’s Champions League regardless of whether they win this competition, Arsenal are virtually eliminated from top-four contention and are clinging to a Europa League place for 2018/19. What’s more, longtime boss Arsène Wenger has announced he will leave the club at season’s end, adding more possible motivation to send the Frenchman out with a trophy.
Now Atlético stand in their way. Los colchoneros have conceded just three times across three rounds in the Europa League, but enter this one with just a single win from the past six away from home. FiveThirtyEight rate Arsenal as slightly more likely to take this first leg, but believe Atleti are the favorites to win over two legs.
Diego Simeone’s men are reasonably fit and suspension-free. Juanfran is out of the squad — and possibly done for the season — after he re-injured his hamstring in Sunday’s 0-0 draw versus Real Betis. However, Diego Costa trained normally on Wednesday and is apparently in contention to play the first leg after Simeone last week indicated otherwise.
Oblak; Vrsaljko, Giménez, Godín, Lucas; Thomas, Saúl, Correa, Koke; Griezmann, Gameiro.
Arsenal 1-1 Atlético Madrid.
How to watch
Date: April 26, 2018
Location: Emirates Stadium, London, England
Kickoff time: 21:05 CEST, 20:05 GMT/BST, 3:05 p.m. EST, 12:05 p.m. EST
SB Nation opposition blog: The Short Fuse
Available TV/streaming: beIN Sports, Movistar+ (Spain), BT Sport 2, BT Sport Live (United Kingdom), ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports 1, fuboTV (United States), beIN Sports 2 (France), Sky Sport 1 HD (Austria), PPTV Sport (China)
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