AC Milan vs Arsenal
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Date: 8 March 2018
Kick-off: 19:00 CET
Milan (the city) was getting ready for its huge derby on Sunday, when news came regarding Davide Astori, and his shocking death, aged just 31. All Sunday matches were postponed, as the football world of Italy mourned. Astori tragedy-aside, AC Milan are having their best period in months. On December 27 they beat Inter Milan 1-0 in extra time, in Coppa Italia, to qualify for the next round. That was the first of the – now – 13 matches they have gone undefeated in, a streak that saw them beat Lazio on penalties a week ago, away from home, in another Coppa Italia match. They are going to face Juventus in the final in May. Rino Gattuso seems to have found the right chemistry, proving right those who trusted him with the coach’s position at the club. They are 7th in the Serie A.
Milan are going through their best period in months, and Arsenal are experiencing the exactly opposite situation. They did qualify for the last 16 of the Europa League despite losing 2-1 at home to Ostersunds(!!), but that was just the first of four defeats in a row. They lost the League Cup final to Manchester City, four days later they lost again to City in the Premier League, and last weekend they lost at Brighton as well. More than that, the dressing room is reported to be a mess, with players turning against each other, blaming each other for their failures. As for Arsene Wenger, once again, a good part of Arsenal fans are asking for his dismissal, with the Frenchman looking adamant that he is the right man to revert the situation at Emirates. Arsenal are 13 whole points behind 4th-placed Tottenham, sitting 6th in the Premier League table. Realistically, winning the Europa League is their only chance to play Champions League football next season. Not easy, but… doable. Come back from 13 points down in the Premier League, not really doable.
Previous five matches:
Lazio vs AC Milan 0-0
Roma vs AC Milan 0-2
AC Milan vs Ludogorets 1-0
AC Milan vs Sampdoria 1-0
Ludogorets vs AC Milan 0-3
Brighton vs Arsenal 2-1
Arsenal vs Manchester City 0-3
Arsenal vs Manchester City 0-3
Arsenal vs Ostersunds 1-2
Ostersunds vs Arsenal 0-3
AC Milan’s next game is at Genoa, on Sunday (Italy Serie A). Same day, Arsenal will be hosting Watford (England Premier League).
AC Milan vs Arsenal: Head to head Stats
Milan have hosted Arsenal three times before. In 1995 (UEFA Super Cup final, second leg) they beat them 2-0. Arsenal won 2-0 in 2008, a Champions League round of 16 match. In 2012, same competition and same round, Milan won 4-0.
AC Milan vs Arsenal: Prediction
I’m counting on AC Milan’s enthusiasm and Arsenal’s pathetic form to give the hosts the win.
AC Milan vs Arsenal: Betting Tips
Milan’s win pays 2.15, which I feel is good enough to avoid risking further with special bets. Arsenal may be going through a horrible period, but they still have the players to react, score, make things difficult for Milan. Then again, maybe not. My point is, I feel this game can end anything from 1-0 to 3-2, so I’m staying with AC Milan’s simple win, at 2.15.
More UEFA Europa League betting tips and match previews: