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Europa League semifinal (2nd leg) preview: Atletico Madrid vs Arsenal

Europa League semifinal (2nd leg) preview: Atletico Madrid vs Arsenal

- Atletico Madrid and Arsenal faceoff at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Thursday, May 3 for the 2nd leg of their Europa League clash

- Both teams played 1-1 in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium barely eight days ago and they are back to decide who goes through

- Arsenal need to win the title to return to Europe next season, while Diego Simeone's men are second on the log in Spain and will play Champions league next season

Spanish League side Atletico Madrid welcome Arsenal to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Thursday, May 3, for the final lap of their Europa League semi final clash.

Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Antoine Griezmann ensured both sides finished 1-1 at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg of fixture a week ago.

However, the two teams will be gunning for victory in this meeting in a bid to wrap up their season with silverware.

READ ALSO: Europa League semi final preview: Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid

Meanwhile, tonight’s meeting will be the second time they will be facing each other in any European competition after their 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture last week.

The Gunners will face a more difficult Atletico side as their point man Diego Costa returned to the team’s set up over the weekend in their slim win over Alaves in the domestic league on Sunday.

Costa missed the first leg due to the minor injury he suffered in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Sporting CP in the second leg of their quarterfinal fixture on April 12.

Arsene Wenger’s men on the other side lost 2-1 to Manchester United in last Sunday’s Premier League fixture at Old Trafford, though most of his key players were rested for this must-win encounter.

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Winning this title remains the only way for the north Londoners to stand a chance of playing in Europe next season as they currently sit sixth on the log – 11 points behind fifth place Chelsea.

And all hopes of making it back to Europa League next season isn’t even sure, hence they will out in all their best to progress to the final at the end of this match.

The Emirates Stadium outfit also have a few injury concern with Alex Iwobi, David Ospina and Henrikh Mkhitaryan set to be battling for fitness ahead of the crunch game.

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.

The other semifinal clash is between Salzburg and Marseille with the French team going into the clash with two goals advantage.

Winners of these two games will battle for the ultimate prize of UEFA's second tier club competition.

While tonight's game will be Arsene Wenger's 250th game as a coach in UEFA club competition, ranking second behind former Manchester United coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, who played a total of 269 matches in all UEFA organised tournaments.

Venue: Estadio Wanda Metropolitano

Time: 8:05 pm Nigerian time

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)

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