Here we go again, AC Milan v Arsenal at the San Siro - one the glamour ties of European football.
We made history here back in 2008, becoming the first English team to beat the Rossoneri at their home ground. Much has changed since then of course, not least the fact this is in the Europa League rather than the Champions League, yet this remains a tie to whet the appetite.
When you spool back 10 years, it is easy to forget how we entered that game at the San Siro. Just a few weeks earlier Eduardo had broken his leg in horrific circumstances as we drew 2-2 at Birmingham, and our title challenge began to come off the rails as we then had to rely on a 94th-minute equaliser to claim a home draw with Aston Villa.
Confidence was low, nerves were frayed and yet we produced a stunning display to reach the quarter-finals thanks to late goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Cesc Fabregas in Italy.
So the precedent is there of an Arsenal team, out of form, producing a huge performance to win at the San Siro. Arsene Wenger masterminded that display, and he will be desperate for a repeat this evening. Fingers well and truly crossed.
Read on for a comprehensive pre-match briefing: We’ve got team news, a chat with the manager and Laurent Koscielny, match facts, graphics and a chance to have your say.
Wenger on trying to infuse the players with confidence...
“I think first of all the players are a bit affected by what happens because the players want to win. In life, you forget quickly how good you are. When you have a bad week, players change their mind about their own quality. We have to not forget that we are good football players."
ARSENAL: Cazorla (calf), Bellerin (knee), Monreal (back), Lacazette (knee)
AC MILAN: None
Tactical expert Michael Cox:
“One of Milan's trump cards is their set-piece delivery - Hakan Calhanoglou is amongst the most dangerous free-kick takers around, while left-back Ricardo Rodriguez boasts a brilliant left foot. But Italian clubs sometimes struggle with a higher tempo of football when facing sides from La Liga, the Bundesliga or the Premier League - if Arsenal can move the ball quickly and attack with speed, they might catch out the Rossoneri."
THE LAST WORD
Wenger on the Europa League offering salvation…
“This is an opportunity we have to take, yes. It increases the pressure even more on this competition. At the moment, it is certainly difficult when you go through a patch like that but I believe as well it is a good opportunity to show you have the quality and the strength. You can only show that when it is difficult. It is a good opportunity to show we can deal with that and as well, on the longer term, it will make the team even stronger."
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