Arsenal v Atletico Madrid | Europa League semi-final preview | Players to watch

Arsenal welcome La Liga giants Atletico Madrid to the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night for the first leg of their Europa League semi-final.

The Gunners have been in superb form over the past month and will aim to put on an incredible show against Atleti to take a first leg lead to the Wanda Metropolitano.

Arsenal back to form

The Gunners’ returned to winning ways on Sunday with a 4-1 win over West Ham United. It was 1-1 until the 80th minute, however, before they eventually folded like a deck of cards.

Nacho Monreal opened the scoring in the 51st minute, before Marko Arnautovic equaslised for West Ham after the hour mark.

And after Aaron Ramsey gave Arsenal the lead for the second time in the game, Alexandre Lacazette netted a brace to seal a comprehensive victory.

Atletico Madrid, on the hand, have gone two games without a win. The La Liga giants lost 3-0 to Real Sociedad in midweek and followed that up by a goalless stalemate against Real Betis at home.

Players to watch:

Aaron Ramsey – Arsenal:

Aaron Ramey

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey could be key against Atleti.

The Welsh international has been in stellar form since his return from a groin injury in February.

The 27-year-old has been Arsene Wenger‘s talisman in the knockout stages of the Europa League and has contributed four goals in as many appearances.

One of his best moments was a fantastic back-flick goal scored against AC Milan at the San Siro.

With Mesut Ozil still struggling with an illness, Ramsey is likely to come in and replace the German to make tireless box-to-box against Atleti.

Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid:

Antoine Griezmann

Unlike the Arsenal talisman, Griezmann plays exclusively in the final third with Atleti. He’s just as valuable as Ramsey, however.

The French international struggled for form earlier in the season but has now contributed 37 goals in all competitions. He’s also impressed in the Europa League, netting three goals in five appearances.

Arsenal will have to stop his threat if they are to overcome Atleti.

Football Weeks’ prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Atletico Madrid

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Bertrand Francois

Bertrand Francois is the editor of Football Weeks. An experienced online and print journalist, Jamie has worked for IRAIW, Arsenal Presser, Soccerlens and countless other media sources over the years. He is from Republic Du Benin and lives in the busiest town Cotonou. - Facebook and Twitter