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Arsenal train ahead of UEFA Europa League QF

05 April, 2018, 01:14 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Arsenal

Arsenal continue in their quest to try and qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League by winning the Europa League when they face Russia's CSKA Moscow in Thursday's quarter-final first leg in London.

Alexandre Lacazette was forced to undergo minor surgery on a knee injury in February which kept him sidelined throughout March, but the French global made a successful return against Stoke City at the weekend.

Losses such as at Nottingham Forest, Brighton and a pitiful League Cup defeat to Man City was enough for Arsenal fans to say "enough is enough". I couldn't have imagined a better start.

Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is trying to win the Europa League for the second year in a row after last season's triumph with Manchester United, but he insisted that Arsenal can't put all of their eggs in one basket and ignore the rest of the league campaign. With relations at a low point and calls for England to boycott this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation still being heard, it remains to be seen if the political issues will bleed over into this sporting affair.

The Gunners are sixth in the Premier League, a huge 13 points off fourth-placed arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Tomorrow morning I will decide.

Wernbloon goes into the game in good form as also he scored in Sunday's win against Rostov. I think the crowd, when something is at stake, is always there'.

An impressive performance in the 5-1 aggregate win over AC Milan in the Europa League gave fans a glimpse of what the players were capable of, however, and Silva believes they owe it to Wenger to take pressure off the manager as long as he remains with the club.

"Russian teams always have a good technical level and a good football culture", said Wenger. CSKA's three-man back line will contain the Berezutsky twins, Vasili and Aleksei, aged 35, and they'll be joined by 38-year-old Sergei Ignashevich. But Wenger said he hopes that will not be any issue for the travelling supporters for either leg.

As the fallout of the Sergei Skripal spy-poisoning incident continues and a major diplomatic dispute between Russia and the United Kingdom rages, several countries have ordered the expulsion Russian diplomats.

"Honestly nobody knows what is going on and it looks more to be diplomatic relations are a bit complicated", he said. "For me this tie is 50/50".

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