Thursday 8 Mar

AC Milan vs Arsenal - Match Preview

07 Mar 2018 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage

AC Milan

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W


18:00 GMT
08 March 2018

Arsenal FC

  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

18:00 GMT 08 March 2018

With this week’s Champions League action out the way on Wednesday night, it is the Europa League that follows on Thursday night. After the first knockout round, we are now into the Last 16 and in the biggest of the eight ties, Arsenal face AC Milan. This is certainly a clash that wouldn’t seem out of place in the Champions League and if you were to rewind seven or eight years, it could’ve been a semi-final.


  • Despite their high-spending summer, AC Milan have struggled in the league this season and currently find themselves seventh, eight points away from the top four. Their form has been better recently under Gennaro Gattuso and they look like a real force once again. They eased past lesser opposition in the last round, brushing aside Ludogorets 4-0 over both legs after a convincing 3-0 away win in the first-leg. These results meant they have won five of their eight games in the competition so far.
  • Arsenal are having a nightmare of a campaign and once again, their fans are calling for Arsene Wenger to be sacked. They are sixth in the Premier League with no real chance of making the Champions League spots while they were beaten in the second-leg of their Last 16 tie against Ostersunds at the Emirates, luckily they had done the job away from home. That loss was just their second in this season’s Europa league but they can’t afford any more.
  • Andre Silva is having a good season in front of goal and with six goals in Europe, he is AC Milan’s leading scorer in the Europa League.
  • Before his transfer to Everton, Theo Walcott was Arsenal top goal scorer in the competition, they’ll have to find another talisman from somewhere.


The two former European heavyweights have been drawn against each other twice before, both in the Champions League. Each side had the pleasure of dumping the other out in the Last 16 stage as a 2-0 aggregate win for Arsenal in 2008 saw them through while a 4-3 victory for Milan meant they progressed in 2012. Robinho was the hero the last time they played at the San Siro as he scored a brace on the way to a 4-0 demolition for AC Milan. There has never been a European fixture between these sides where both teams have scored.


It is important for Gattuso’s side that they use their first-leg home advantage to take a lead to the Emirates otherwise they could be facing an uphill task. They are only missing Luca Antonelli, Ignazio Abate and Andrea Conti for the clash.

Latest matches: AC Milan

28.02.2018 Copp Lazio Roma AC Milan 4:5 W
25.02.2018 Seri AS Roma AC Milan 0:2 W
22.02.2018 UEFA AC Milan Ludogorets Razgrad 1:0 W
18.02.2018 Seri AC Milan Sampdoria Genoa 1:0 W
15.02.2018 UEFA Ludogorets Razgrad AC Milan 0:3 W


The Gunners need to avoid a heavy defeat if they want any chance of making the quarter-final and after resting some first-teamers for the loss at Brighton, they will welcome them back. Hector Bellerin and Aaron Ramsey are expected to return while Danny Welbeck should be selected up front as both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are unavailable. Nacho Monreal also won’t feature so Sead Kolasinac will take the left-back spot.

Latest matches: Arsenal FC

04.03.2018 Prem Brighton & Hove Albion FC Arsenal FC 2:1 L
01.03.2018 Prem Arsenal FC Manchester City 0:3 L
25.02.2018 EFL Manchester City Arsenal FC 3:0 L
22.02.2018 UEFA Arsenal FC Ostersunds FK 1:2 L
15.02.2018 UEFA Ostersunds FK Arsenal FC 0:3 W


It should be a great encounter between two sides who should really be playing Champions League football. Neither side will give too much away but AC Milan need to seize the initiative and are favourites to win the first-leg. The visitors know they can perform on the biggest stage but their recent away form will play into the hands of the hosts.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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