Europa League Semi-Final First Leg Preview

Europa League semi-final first leg
FILE PHOTO (EDITORS NOTE: GRADIENT ADDED - COMPOSITE OF TWO IMAGES - Image numbers (L) 852372342 and 942376156) In this composite image a comparison has been made between Manager Diego Simeone of Club Atletico de Madrid (L) and Arsene Wenger of Arsenal . Arsenal FC and Atletico Madrid meet in one of the UEFA Europa League Semi Finals over two legs. ***LEFT IMAGE*** MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 23: Manager Diego Simeone of Club Atletico de Madrid looks on during the La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla at Wanda Metropolitano on September 23, 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 05: Arsene Wenger of Arsenal looks on during the UEFA Europa League quarter final leg one match between Arsenal FC and CSKA Moskva at Emirates Stadium on April 5, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Europa League semi-final first leg between Arenal and Atletico Madrid is almost upon us. Kick off is on Thursday, April 26 at 3:05 pm EST. Here is all you need to know before the match!

Europa League Semi-Final First Leg Arsenal-Atletico Madrid

Wenger’s Words

From Arsenal.com

“The rules in Europe make the weight of an away goal very strong. 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.

“I would say one of their (Atletico Madrid) strengths is that they have no obvious weakness. they are a very efficient team and a team who can use every weak moment of their opponent. Overall I must say that is their main strength.”

Team News

Danny Welbeck appeared alongside Arsène Wenger during the pre-match press conference, so we all know what that means. However, the teams suffers a blow as the manager confirms that Mohamed Elneny is out for the season.

The boss believes that the Egyptian may be in contention for the World Cup, where he would line up with the likes of Mohamed Salah.

Meanwhile, new-found talisman Henrikh Mkhitaryan is not available for Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first leg. Wenger did not elaborate whether or not he is in contention for the return leg.

The team will be lifted by the return of a few other first-teamers, though. Mesut Özil seems better after missing Sunday’s win with illness, and Jack Wilshere also trained with the team after missing out with an ankle knock.

Petr Cech is also back available after sitting out on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Diego Simeone has two significant injuries to deal with. Preferred right-back Juanfran is dealing with a hamstring issue, so will miss the Europa League semi-final first leg.

Former Chelsea man Diego Costa is a doubt after suffering a hamstring injury of his own against Sporting Lisbon in the last round. The striker did travel with the team, however, so there is hope for him.

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