Atletico Madrid vs Arsenal: Early preview & betting tips

By on May 1, 2018

Arsenal head to Spain on Thursday night to take on Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final.

The Gunners blew a golden opportunity to take control of the tie after gifting 10-man Madrid a late equaliser during a 1-1 draw at the Emirates last week.

The visitors were down to ten men for 80 minutes of the game and Arsenal had more than enough chances to take at least a 2-0 lead to Spain but poor finishing and sloppy defending cost them dear.

Arsene Wenger must now produce a masterclass in Madrid if he wants to keep alive hopes of ending his 22-year reign as manager with a Europa League trophy.

Arsenal know they need to score at least one goal to stand a chance of progressing to the final and that’s going to be no easy task in itself as Madrid have kept 11 consecutive clean sheets on home soil.

Diego Simeone’s men boast the best defensive record in Europe’s top divisions as they’ve conceded just 18 goals in 35 La Liga games this season so Arsenal face an uphill battle just to get on the score-sheet.

To make matters worse, the Gunners are the only side in England’s top five division’s yet to win a point away from home in 2018 so their form on the road in recent months has been horrendous.

Betting

Given the stats, it’s easy to understand why Madrid are the bookmakers favourites to win the game and I think Atletico winning to nil looks a solid bet at odds of 15/8. New customers could use a Coral promo code to enhance these odds or secure a welcome bonus to make their money go even further.

It used to be ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ but Madrid are now the kings when it comes to grinding out narrow wins and eight of their last 12 home games against top-20 ranked European teams have seen less and 2.5 goals. Given Arsenal’s lack of away form and Madrid’s tendency to keep clean sheets, I think under 2.5 goals is a good bet at odds of 13/15.

I also like the look of Madrid winning 2-0 at 13/2 while Antoine Griezmann looks a good bet to get on the score-sheet. The Frenchman was the man to punish Arsenal at the Emirates with a late equaliser and I’d back him to be the first scorer in a 2-0 win at odds of 12/1.

It’s going to be an extremely tough game for the Gunners and as much as I’d love to see Wenger go out in style, I think Arsenal blew their chances to reach the final by drawing at the Emirates so Madrid are likely to progress on Thursday night.

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