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Atletico v Arsenal - Madrid Mission Improbable in Europa League Semi

So, it all comes down to this.We’ve lost six away games in a row in the Premier League, have zero points in 2018 for games away from home in fact. We’re cut adrift in no-mans land in the league table and face a fight for 6th with Burnley - all we have left this season is this game.Everything is on the line in this Europa League Semi-Final 2nd leg with Atletico Madrid.Let’s start with the obvious. Atletico have felt no adverse effects from switching to their new home - the Wanda Metropolitano. they’ve conceded just four goals all season at their new abode, which is quite startling. Defensive lynchpin Diego Godin seems to get better with age and Diego Simeone has been through the rough patches and now sees his side in 2nd spot in La Liga, ahead of Real Madrid.This task is perhaps our greatest in recent times, given the stakes.A 1-0 win, a la our win at the Bernabeu in 2007, would more than suffice to see us through to the final in Lyon, but back then we had Thierry Henry.Who will step up and be our king this time?In terms of who will make the team, a host of our players are set to return to the side after sitting out for our 2-1 loss at Old Trafford. Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal will come back into the starting eleven, although that isn’t really an inclusion to boost confidence lately.In midfield, Granit Xhaka will retain his place, and then it’s a straight fight between Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere for the other place - but whoever loses out will most likely be included in the attack, alongside Mesut Ozil and the fit again Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who returned in the weekend with a goal.The key to this game is keeping it tight, much like it was in the first leg. We produced an almighty performance, completely undone by one incompetent moment at the back. Another moment like this and it will be curtains. We need to recreate the tempo we had, and make the most of our chances instead of being wasteful. We had several opportunities to score before we did in the first leg, we can’t do that again.Who are the dangermen in Atletico’s side? Well, the man who scored their crucial goal is numero uno. Antoine Griezmann will lurk and pose a threat whenever he gets it, and Saul Niguez can split our defence with the ball or with by going on a run. Diego Costa may well start on the bench again, but it won’t be their team members that will be the chink in their formidable armour.It will be their gameplan. Put yourselves in Simeone’s shoes. He will most likely tell his side to play on the counter. Play it safe and exploit our lack of numbers at the back when we bomb forward. They are in the driving seat, and they can dictate should they want to. They will know our strength is in attack, and if they go toe-to-toe, we can hurt them. There is a lot of pressure to soak up though, when a team sits back. As time goes on, a defence can switch off, or mounting pressure can cause teams to crack.Their season so far says that we are clutching at straws, but we also know we are capable of anything, and we need to latch onto that. While they may sit back, we also need to play carefully. A gung-ho approach may reap goals, but most likely it will see us downed.We need to be patient, play with a contingency plan in midfield when our attack folds. Ainsley Maitland-Niles showed he can be that player, and the youngster sitting back behind Xhaka and Ramsey could well work well to stifle and also in emergencies.Ninety minutes to save our season, and give us a shot at a European trophy. Let it be so. UTAPredicted Lineup - Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck, LacazettePredicted Scoreline - 1-0 to The Arsenal