Europa League last 16 Preview – Second legs

Arsenal are looking to book their place in the last eight of the Europa League and maintain their hopes of silverware and a place in the Champions League in 2018.

The Gunners are way off a top-four place in the Premier League, and now realise that victory in the Europa League – like Manchester United last season – is their only hope.

But Arsene Wenger admits that the challenge is not an easy one as the Europa League is increasingly strong although they are in fine fettle themselves, holding a 2-0 advantage going into the home leg.

“The Europa League, if you look at the teams that are in there this season, it is very strong,” said Wenger.

“We play Milan for the chance to reach the quarter-final. You look who is in there – Milan, Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, all the French teams.

“You have many good teams in there and this competition is maybe this season at a higher level than ever before.”

Elsewhere, favourites Atletico Madrid are in firm control of their tie as they go to Moscow with a 3-0 lead, and Marseille hold a similar healthy first-leg lead – 3-1 – over Athletic Bilbao as they travel to Spain for the second-leg.

However, one of the other favourites – Borussia Dortmund, have it all to do as they are 2-1 down to Red Bull Salzburg, with the second leg to come in Austria.

Sporting Lisbon are in good shape as they travel to Viktoria Plzen with a 2-0 advantage, whilst Lyon will hope to hold off CSKA Moscow at home after a 1-0 win in Russia.

Dynamo Kiev host Lazio with the tie delicately poised after a 2-2 draw in the opening leg.

Zenit St Petersburg will be hopeful of progression against Bundesliga side RB Leipzig – following a 2-1 win in the first leg in Germany.

See below for a run-down on the games, including predictions from our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey together with everything you need to know from the bookies – with BoyleSports’s Lawrence Lyons.

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Second leg
Arsenal 20:05 AC Milan

The Emirates

TEAM NEWS: Shkodran Mustafi is available for the game whilst Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal could also be available. Alexandre Lacazette and Santi Cazorla remain sidelined, whilst Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ineligible. Milan are without full-backs Davide Calabria, Ignazio Abate and Andrea Conti  – which means Sunderland forward Fabio Borini could fill-in.
KEY FACT: Milan has only won once in England, from 16 visits
MATCH ODDS: Arsenal 21/20 Draw 12/5 Milan 13/5
GRAEME SAYS: Great result in first leg and Arsenal will see this through with a draw…1-1
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Mkhitaryan To Score First @7/1 
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Gianluigi Donnarumma is the best young keeper in the world, get on him

Lokomotiv Moscow 16:00 Atletico Madrid (Agg 0-3)
Stadion Lokomotiv

MATCH ODDS: Lokomotiv 3/1 Draw 9/4 Atletico Evens
GRAEME SAYS: Atletico will make no mistake in this one…0-2
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Ateltico to win @Evens 

Athletic Bilbao 18:00 Marseille (Agg 1-3)
San Mames

MATCH ODDS: Bilbao 29/20 Draw 23/10 Marseille 19/10
GRAEME SAYS: I can see Bilbao claiming the win, but think Marseille will squeeze through…2-1
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Bilbao to win @29/20 

Dynamo Kiev 18:00 Lazio (Agg 2-2)
Olympic Stadium

MATCH ODDS: Dynamo 9/4 Draw 12/5 Lazio 23/20
GRAEME SAYS: I think Lazio are going out here, Dynamo to win through…2-0
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Under 2.5 goals @Evens 

Viktoria Plzen 18:00 Sporting Lisbon (Agg 0-2)
Struncovy Sady Stadion

MATCH ODDS: Plzen 17/10 Draw 23/10 Sporting 31/20
GRAEME SAYS: Sporting are a classy team and will have enough to win here…0-2
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Both Teams To Score @3/4 

Zenit St Petersburg 18:00 RB Leipzig (Agg 2-1)
St Petersburg Stadium

MATCH ODDS: Zenit 8/5 Draw 23/10 Leipzig 17/10
GRAEME SAYS: A good game this one, but I think home advantage will win it for Zenit…2-0
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Zenit to win to nil @15/4 

FC Red Bull Salzburg 20:05 Borussia Dortmund (Agg 2-1)
Stadion Salzburg

MATCH ODDS: Salzburg 19/10 Draw 13/5 Dortmund 5/4
GRAEME SAYS: Can Dortmind come from behind? Yes I think they can, and will…1-3
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Both Teams To Score @8/15 

Lyon 20:05 CSKA Moscow (Agg 1-0)
Parc Olympique Lyonnais

MATCH ODDS: Lyon 8/11 Draw 13/5 CSKA 4/1
GRAEME SAYS: Comfortable home win for Lyon in this one…3-0
BOYLESPORTS PICK: Lyon to win & under 2.5 goals @13/5 

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