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Arsenal v AC Milan: EL Quarter Final on Line Against Milan at Emirates

After a perhaps surprisingly convincing display in the San Siro last Thursday, Arsene Wenger's Arsenal team have the chance to finish the job against AC Milan and book a place in the Europa League Quarter Finals at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow night.There's no doubt about it - winning by two goals to nil against Genarro Gattuso's Rossoneri was a terrific result, especially considering the form the Gunners were in going into the game. The Italians are European super heavyweights and would have fancied their chances against a deflated English side, especially on home turf, but a resilient display seen Arsenal leave the ground with their heads held high.However, it will all have been for nought if the result isn't built upon in North London on Thursday night. Just off the back of a good result against Watford in the league on Sunday, Wenger will be hoping that his side does not capitulate at home like they did in the previous tie in the Europa League against Ostersund.In that fixture, after a definitive 3-0 loss at home, the Swedish minnows made their way to the Emirates and carved out a 2-1 win; the only reason Arsenal progressed was down to aggregate goal difference. In the Ostersund game, Arsenal was complacent. They felt the game had been won in the first leg, and failed to show up for the second leg. Hopefully, for Wenger's sides’ sake, they have learned their lesson and will treat this game with the respect it deserves.Milan had their own fine result during the week following their first loss of 2018. After looking like their tie was sure to be a goalless draw against Genoa in Serie A, Andre Silva finally delivered upon his highly-rated reputation to notch his first goal for the club in the 94th minute, winning the game for Gattuso's side. in terms of a shot in the arm going into this fixture, it could not have worked out much better.In the highly competitive Italian league, that result put them just five points behind their city rivals Inter in fifth and 6 points behind Lazio (and the Champions League positions) in fourth. After such a poor start to their season, it is not the worst situation they could find themselves in as they are still very much so in contention for an automatic place in Europe's premier competition next season, but ideally for them they would progress to the quarter finals of the Europa League.With this being the case, Gattuso will hope to galvanize his troops and has stated prior to the game that this "is not a holiday for his players" and that they intend on coming to London to get a result.In terms of absentees, Arsenal will be once more missing there two first choice strikers - the injured Alexandre Lacazette and the cup-tied Pierre -Emerick Aubameyang - meaning Danny Welbeck will be leading the line. The English forward performed well in the first leg and will be hoping to transfer that level of performance back to home turf.Also missing is long term absentee Santi Cazorla, and there are also a trio of defensive doubts - Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Shkrodan Mustafi - that will be assessed prior to the game commencing to determine whether they can play a part.If the defenders are unable to play a part, it will leave the Arsenal manager with a headache as to who he will play at the back, with a combination of two of Laurent Koscielny, Rob Holding or Calum Chambers likely to feature like they did against Watford; with the flanking of Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Behind them, it is likely David Ospina will be returning to between the posts as he has done in cup competitions thus far this season, despite his counterpart Petr Cech reaching the impressive milestone of 200 league clean sheets against the Hornets.The goal scorers from the first leg - Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey - will hope to assist Welbeck in attacking duties, with the Armenian in particular showing great form recently, finding the net once more at the weekend against Watford as well as providing an assist.The midfield is likely to be filled out with Jack Wilshire, Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil through the centre, and will hopefully be able to hold Milan back resolutely while also offering a threat going forward, as it is likely that at least a goal will be needed to settle the tie.AC Milan will be out to salvage the tie, though, and they have the talent to it. The talented and well-regarded Patrick Cutrone was kept at bay last week, but he will be hoping to make amends for that in the second leg. Hakan Calonoglu and the aforementioned Silva also offer plenty of threat, and defensively Milan are very solid - with Gianluigi Donarumma in goals and Leonardo Bonucci at centre back being two of the best rated players in all of Serie A.Since Gattuso took over the club in November, Milan have been playing a 4-3-3 formation, although popular publication Gazzetta dello Sport reported today that the Rossoneri may switch to 4-4-2 in an effort to get a result in London. If this were the case, they would play 2 recognized strikers - Cutrone and Nikola Kalinić - and they would be supported by Giacomo Bonaventura and Suso behind them. If Milan does opt for this plan, it will ask some big questions of Arsenal's makeshift defense, so hopefully they are up to the task of keeping them at bay.The Europa League represents Arsenal's only chance of silverware this season and likely the only way to ensure an automatic position in the Champions League this season, so this is a huge game that they need to get right and either hold on or get the win.AC Milan travel to the Emirates to play Arsenal in the second leg of their Europa League Last 16 fixture, with kick-off scheduled for 8.05pm.