Big Match Breakdown: Arsenal v CSKA Moscow
Arsenal continue their bid for Europa League glory tonight, as they host Russian heavyweights CSKA Moscow in the first leg of their quarter-final.
Both sides head into this game looking for a fifth successive win. The Gunners produced a stellar 5-1 aggregate defeat of AC Milan in the last round, whilst CSKA edged past Olympique Lyonnais.
That all points to an entertaining tie, and the Coral News Team have the key stats and info in the latest Big Match Breakdown…
These clubs have met twice over their history, with both games in the 2006-07 Champions League group stage.
While the Gunners went on to win the group, they lost 1-0 in Moscow on matchday three, before a 0-0 draw at the Emirates in the reverse fixture.
Their record against Russian opposition could concern some fans of the North London club. They’ve won just two of eight games against Russian sides, losing four.
Wenger has set his side up in a 4-2-3-1 system in each of their last five UEL games, with largely successful results. There’s no reason to think they’ll change that system.
Mohamed Elneny is the only man to have featured in all 10 of Arsenal’s European games this term, and is likely to start again. Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan could occupy the wings, with the returning Alexandre Lacazette leading the line.
As for CSKA, they’ve played a virtually flat 3-5-2 for most of the season. They’ve got an established defensive trio consisting of brothers Vasili and Aleksei Berezutski and Sergei Ignaschevich.
Meanwhile at the other end, talented Brazilian Vitinho and Leicester City loanee Ahmed Musa are likely to lead the line.
If CSKA field the same backline as in their last game – away to Rostov – their back three will have a combined age of 108. There’s a ton of experience between them, but they’ll have their work cut out keeping the pacy and skilful Lacazette quiet.
Viktor Goncharenko’s men are a powerful side, and this is a game where the Gunners could be met with plenty of physicality. They’ll need to show more grit than has been visible for much of this season.
Arsenal are firm favourites in the match betting at odds of 3/10. Meanwhile, it’s 19/5 for a draw on the night, while there’s 17/2 for CSKA to spring a surprise.
Krasno-sinie have scored in 10 of their 12 European games this term, but conceded in both legs against Lyon. With the Gunners netting 11 times in their last four games, it’s 11/10 for Both Teams to Score, while an Arsenal win and BTTS is 9/4.
Mkhitaryan has bagged a goal in two of his last four outings, and chalked up six in this competition for Manchester United last term. The Armenian is 6/4 to Score Anytime, and 9/2 to break the deadlock.
CSKA’s best chance of a goal could lie with Vitinho. The striker is on double figures for the season, and it’s 16/5 he adds to his tally in North London.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing