Our season’s hopes lie in this match.

The preparation couldn’t have been any worse.

Beaten at home by Ostersunds.

Put in a pathetic performance in the Carabao Cup Final versus City.

Four days later, we lost to the same team by the same scoreline.

Then, an away match where we failed to muster any form of reaction as Brighton deservedly beat us.

This match against AC Milan really is the difference between by far the worst season under Wenger, and the possibility of redemption. A slim possibility, but a possibility nonetheless.

With our current form though - and the supposed curse of the Last16 following us from our Champions League humblings - can we hold out any hope of bringing a decent scoreline back to The Emirates?

Firstly, let’s look at the team news.

Nacho Monreal, probably our best player this season, is extremely doubtful to make this game with his back injury. Sead Kolasinac stands by to replace him again. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is cup-tied for the Europa League after his exertions earlier in the season for BVB, and with Alexandre Lacazette recovering from minor surgery, our only options are Danny Welbeck and Eddie Nketiah. The England striker will most likely get the nod, with the youngster on the bench as backup.

Then we have our midfield conundrum. Aaron Ramsey was not in the squad for our miserable defeat to Brighton, with no news of an injury either. Ramsey will most likely play against the Italians, but who will partner him? Xhaka has played nearly every minute of our terrible run recently. Our other options are Jack Wilshere and Mohamed Elneny if Wenger wishes to shake things up.

Milan are coming into this game fresh from booking their place in the Coppa Italia final after holding Lazio to a goalless draw. Fabio Borini and Ricardo Montolivo were rested for the Lazio clash, but at least one of these will be involved in some way, perhaps the former Sunderland man coming in for Calhanoglu?

The Italians, managed by firebrand Gennaro Gattuso, were backed heavily in the summer by new owners, but their showings in Serie A haven’t progressed as much as people were expecting. Still, they have plenty of talent on show. Donnarumma in goal is perhaps the brightest talent in Europe between the sticks, Leonardo Bonucci is a proven rock at the back, and Lucas Biglia, Suso and Cutrone will be a real handful for our skittish defenders.

Milan are on a 13 game unbeaten run in all competitions, according to Opta that is their longest run since 2009, so the fires of recovery are burning bright at the San Siro. The same cannot be said about our own team.

We need a win, no matter how it comes. We have a tough game versus Watford in the weekend off the back of this crunch tie. What will be crucial is grabbing an away goal if we can. Bringing that back to The Emirates will make our job much easier. It won’t matter if we get hammered, so our defence needs to put in a performance that is far and above anything they’ve done this season.

We must believe, and so must the players. It is pretty difficult to have this mindset when we’ve witnessed what we have over the last few weeks, but we can do it. #UTA

Predicted Lineup - Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Welbeck

Predicted Scoreline - 2-1 to Milan