- Europa League match Live update: Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid
- Both teams will be meeting for the first time in any European competition, having met just once in a club friendly
- The north London club will be aiming at winning their first title on the continent while Atletico would want to increase their Europa League titles to three at the end of the championship
Premier League campaigners Arsenal welcome Atletico Madrid to the Emirates Stadium for the first leg of their Europa League semi final encounter on Thursday, April 26.
The Gunners reached the last four stage of the competition having overcome Russian League side, CSKA Moscow 6-3 on aggregate to book a meeting with their Spanish opposition.
Meanwhile, this will be the first time both sides will be meeting in any UEFA organized competitive match, as stats show that they have met just once but in a friendly match.
However, the north Londoners will be hungrier for success in these two-legged meetings because winning the trophy at the end of the competition seems the only way for them to play in Europe next season.
They will also be hoping they can give their outgoing coach Arsene Wenger a memorable gift as a parting shot for his contribution to the club’s successes in the last 22 years.
Arsene Wenger’s only chance of winning any European title was aborted in 2006 when his side lost 2-1 to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League final.
Atletico Madrid on the other hand marched into the semifinals of the championship following their slim victory over Sporting Lisbon in the last eight stage.
They claimed a 2-0 victory over their Portuguese topflight in Spain but lost 1-0 in Portugal a week later and still managed to go through to the next stage.
Although, they head into the fixture with a couple of injury concerns, however, the return of Diego Costa to training boosts their chances of getting something out of the clash.
Diego Simeone’s men are currently second on La Liga table – meaning that if they lose out of the competition at this stage, they will qualify to play in the Champions League next season.
They are two time champions of the Europa League – first in 2010 and came back to claim the prize in the 2011-12 season.
Atletico were close to winning the Champions League three times – in 1974, 2014 and 2016 but they failed on the three occasions, two of them to their city rivals, Real Madrid.
Referee: Clement Turpin (France)
Stadium: Emirates Stadium
Time: 8:05 pm
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