Atletico too good for the Gunners


The Europa League semi-finals take centre stage on Thursday with both ties firmly in the balance.

Of the pair, the game between Atletico Madrid and Arsenal catches the eye after a 1-1 draw at The Emirates. The Gunners dominated but failed to take advantage of Sime Vrsaljko’s early red card and could be made to pay at the Metropolitano.

Much of the build-up to the game will surround this having the potential to be Arsene Wenger’s final European match but in Diego Simeone, a man tipped to replace him by some pundits, he will not find any sentiment.

Atletico won this competition in 2010 and 2012 and having lost out in the Champions League final in both 2014 and 2016, the drop down in level may suite them.

Diego Costa is also likely to be back and has often been the scourge of an Arsenal defence unable to live with his physicality

The Gunners have pedigree though and have already beaten AC Milan on the road but may end up kicking themselves after failing to pounce last week.

Atletico are 5/7 to win and having kept clean sheets in their last 11 at home in all competitions, could well triumph to zero at 17/10.

In the other half of the draw, Marseille take a 2-0 lead to Austria where Red Bull Salzburg await.

Marco Rose’s men have been the surprise package of this season’s tournament and are unbeaten at home during the current campaign, knocking four past Lazio in the last round.

Marseille are a good outfit but lost in the city of Mozart in the group stages.

It was 1-0 on that occasion but more goals are expected and Les Phoceens have the attacking quality in Dimitri Payet and Florian Thauvin to get the away goal that will avoid extra-time.

Salzburg will fancy themselves to win at 21/20, but it is likely to come with goals at both ends, and the home victory and both to score appeals at 23/10.

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