Charlie Nicholas predicts Atletico Madrid v Arsenal in Europa League

Generic Charlie Nicholas image 10/08/2016
Image: Charlie Nicholas previews the midweek European action

Charlie Nicholas explains his worries for Arsenal ahead of their Europa League semi-final second leg at Atletico Madrid.

Arsene Wenger's side have the odds stacked against them after letting a 1-0 lead slip against 10-man Atletico Madrid last Thursday and must score at least once to have any chance of reaching the final in Lyon on May 16.

Here is what Charlie is predicting...

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Atletico Madrid (1) v (1) Arsenal (8.05pm)

Antoine Griezmann celebrates his 82nd minute strike against Arsenal
Image: Antoine Griezmann celebrates his 82nd-minute winner against Arsenal

Can Arsenal do it? The answer is no for me, I'm afraid. I truly hope I'm wrong and they are in the tie still, but I fear they'll fall just short once again.

Forget that Atletico had 10 men in the first leg, that didn't change the way they played, and it will be interesting to see how they approach the second leg.

Diego Costa is back and he could join Kevin Gamiero in attack if they really want to force the issue, while Aaron Ramsey is key to getting on the ball in dangerous areas and creating chances for Alexandre Lacazette.

Will Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny turn up? I just can't trust them. All they had to do was sit in and protect that 1-0 lead and organise those around them, but they failed to do it.

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I was encouraged by Arsenal's attacking display against United and I could actually see them scoring twice, but the difference is the defence and if they open up Atletico will outscore them.

Charlie predicts: 2-1 and Costa to score first (18/1 with Sky Bet)

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