Atletico Madrid vs. Arsenal
|Date & Time||Thursday April 26, 2018, 6:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Arsenal +162 / Madrid +190 / Draw +230 -- Over/Under: 2.5
Arsenal and Atletico Madrid meet Thursday in the soccer UEFA Europa League semifinals at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal is having a disappointing Premier League but does head into this match in great form, winning seven of its last nine matches overall. Arsenal is coming off a 4-1 win over West Ham and has shown hen this team plays inspired and at both ends, it’s still capable of hanging with any team in the world. We could also see a more focused Arsenal club now that Arsene Wenger is out of the picture and could eventually be replaced by Thierry Henry or Patrick Vieira. Of course, for Arsenal to close the deal and win this tournament, The Gunners have to be better on the defensive side of the ball, as they allow way too many goals for a contender and it’s been ugly when playing on the road. Alexandre Lacazette leads Arsenal with 13 goals, Aaron Ramsey has seven goals and Mesut Ozil has eight assists.
Atletico Madrid enter the semifinals as the favorite to win the tournament due to a defense that really doesn’t budge and is fresh off a shutout draw over Real Betis. Atletico Madrid has allowed one or less goals in six of its last seven matches overall and has given up just 18 goals in 34 matches in La Liga play. Los Colchoneros simply doesn’t give up many quality looks, and that’s with some teams owning the possession against them. Atletico Madrid also has an offensive powerhouse in Antoine Griezmann, who is capable of taking over a match at any point, something only few teams have, and it’s only a matter of time before he puts his fingerprints on a match. Griezmann leads Atletico Madrid with 19 goals, Angel Correa has eight goals and Koke has four assists.
Arsenal has played its best at home this season, as the defensive concerns usually show up on the road. I also expect to see a better version of Arsenal this time around with the coaching change, something most agree was the best move for the future of this club. However, Atletico Madrid is the best team left in the tournament and has an elite defense that travels. Instead of playing a side, I’m going to back the under in this match.
Give me the under 2.5 goals.