Arsenal’s malaise at current is such that it is hard to see them transforming their performances around enough to beat Milan over two legs in the Europa League – winning the competition remains their sole hope of qualifying for the Champions League.
Their form has fallen off in recent weeks and their 2-1 defeat to Brighton last weekend means that they are sixth in the Premier League and 13 points from a top four place. In the medium-term questions will undoubtedly be asked about the future of Arsene Wenger and whether or not he is able to complete the second and final year of his current contract.
Discontent around the Emirates has grown to the extent that the majority of the Gunners’ fanbase now want the Frenchman to depart; doing so would not dent his glittering legacy, and there are fresher options available – Carlo Ancelotti, Thomas Tuchel and Luis Enrique are all seeking new jobs for next season.
Four straight defeats in all competitions show that Arsenal head to Milan on Thursday night at their lowest ebb in years. Regardless, playing at the San Siro means that the English club can boost their chances of advancing to the last-eight of the Europa League by getting an away goal and keeping the scoreline respectable.
Milan are a side in form, however, and Gennaro Gattuso is finally starting to get consistent results from his talented squad. The Rossoneri have won six straight times, which included booking a Coppa Italia final place, but they are still seventh in Serie A after a woeful start to their campaign. Like Arsenal, finishing in the top four is looking extremely unlikely so the Europa League is very much a priority.
With teams like Atletico Madrid still involved, though, winning the competition for the first time will not be straightforward. Tipbet have season bets on which club will lift the trophy in May – view the odds here.
For Thursday night’s first-leg, Tipbet have over 100 markets for what should be an exciting clash. Arsenal are 3.70 to take a lead into next week’s second-leg, or 3.50 to draw. Both teams scoring (1.70) would probably work in the Gunners’ favour unless they suffer a heavy defeat. Milan, though, are favourites at 2.10 to win at the San Siro.