Arsenal’s woes could be about to get even worse, as they face a tough trip to Italy in the Europa League on Thursday. This is the one competition the Gunners can win this season, while it also looks like their only route in to next season’s Champions League. With pressure growing on Arsene Wenger, the Premier League side can’t afford to slip up in the San Siro this week. However, their last trip here to face AC Milan saw them thumped 4-0. Given their current form, could that end up happening again?

The Gunners are coming up against a Milan side who have hit form, with Gennaro Gattuso turning their form around. Having previously slumped to the bottom half of Serie A, a 13 game unbeaten run has taken them back in to European contention, the Coppa Italia final and in to this European clash. Milan’s main aim this season has always been to qualify for the Champions League, and like Arsenal they’re looking at the Europa League as a chance to make it in to UEFA’s top tournament.

The difference between the two is that Milan’s recent form makes them genuine contenders to win this competition. They’ve won five of their last six matches ahead of this clash, with their last outing seeing them grind out a 0-0 draw at Lazio to progress to the Coppa Italia final on penalties. That game came over a week ago, so we expect Milan to be in top shape for this clash, while the Gunners looked to be running on empty against Brighton on Sunday.

The visitors have lost five of their last six, including four straight defeats. That run has increased pressure on Arsene Wenger once again, as the club look set for a season without silverware. Those problems are only going to pile up heading in to this first leg, and Arsenal’s issues on the road could cause even more problems. Not only did the Gunners exit the FA Cup away from home, but they’ve only picked up 29% of their Premier League points on the road. That makes them all the more likely to struggle in this trip to Milan.

Given the huge difference in form between these two sides, we think Milan are really good value for a victory in this game. The hosts have improved their form thanks to some strong defensive displays, with Gattuso utilising the excellent talents of Gianluigi Donnaruma, Leo Bonucci and Alessio Romagnoli together. They’ve kept six straight clean sheets, and we’re backing a home win, alongside a win to nil for the Italian side.

Patrick Cutrone has been in good form for the hosts, since breaking in to the first team this season. He has six goals in Europe for Milan this season, and he’s been one of the strongest performers under Gattuso of late. He has 14 goals in 22 starts in his debut year, and given how Arsenal are defending this term the young Italian forward could cause some problems here.

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