Top football betting writer Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) previews Thursday night's Europa League contest between AC Milan and Arsenal.
AC Milan v Arsenal | Wednesday 8th March 2018, 18:00 | BT Sport
With both clubs’ chances of qualifying for the Champions League via their respective leagues looking slim, AC Milan and Arsenal both need this competition to ensure they’re taking part in Europe’s biggest club competition next year.
After their recent takeover, AC Milan brought in 11 players in the summer, spending over £175 million. Vincenzo Montella was in charge at the time but after a run of just 3 wins in 14 games, he was sacked and legendary midfielder Gennaro Gattuso was appointed. Since then, Milan have only lost 2 league games under the Italian and are currently on a 13-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
Only Real Madrid have won more European trophies than Milan and the Italian club have lifted the Champions League an unbelievable 7 times. They clearly have huge pedigree in European competitions and this current crop of players should be inspired by the legends that have achieved success in Europe in the past.
After getting thrashed by Manchester City twice in a week, it was hard to see how it could get any worse for Arsene Wenger. But when they went 2-0 down to Brighton within half an hour, it was evident it could. They’ve now lost 5 of their last 6 games, and in a recent Arsenal supporters' trust survey, 88% of fans said they wanted to see Wenger get the sack.
The Gunners are now 13 points away from Chelsea in 4th, and the chances of them qualifying for the Champions League via the league is extremely slim. The Europa League is now Arsenal’s only hope of qualifying for the UCL, which makes this game the most important game of their season.
The head-to-head record between these two couldn’t be any more even – Arsenal have won two, AC Milan have won two and there have been two draws. The last time these two faced-off was in 2012, where Arsenal won 3-0 at the Emirates. I have a feeling it’s going to be a lot less comfortable for the Gunners this Thursday.
AC Milan are a huge 6/5 to win and I think that’s a great price when you consider the form both teams are in. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is cup tied and Alexandra Lacazette is injured, which means the consistently inconsistent Danny Welbeck is likely to lead the line. Gattuso should have a near-on much full squad available to him, and I can see them dispatching of Arsenal pretty comfortably at the San Siro.
AC Milan v Arsenal – AC Milan To Win (6/5 Sun Bets)