Arsenal will face CSKA Moscow in the quarterfinal of this year’s Europa League, in a tie which will include a crucial second leg trip to the Russian capital amid political tensions between the UK and Russia.
While safety warnings have been issued to English fans by the UK Home Office, the Gunners will have to put the concerns to the back of their minds as the Europa League looks as though it’ll present their best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. The team is currently languishing in sixth in the Premier League, 13 points behind fourth place Tottenham.
Arsene Wenger’s side have already beaten Östersunds FK and AC Milan in this year’s knockout phase after making it through a relatively comfortable group stage before Christmas.
CSKA have already faced Manchester United in this season’s Champions League, losing twice, before finishing third in their group and dropping into the Europa League. However, star forward Alan Dzagoev and on-loan Leicester striker Ahmed Musa could have the potential to provide a banana skin for The Gunners.
With critics of Arsene Wenger more vocal than ever, and January’s star-signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cup-tied, the pressure is on and the tie represents a real must-win for Arsenal.
The first leg will be played at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday 5th April, and the return on the 12th April at the VEB Arena in Moscow.
The journey so far
Arsenal 6 4 1 1 13
Red Star Belgrade. 6 2 3 1 9
- FC Koln 6 2 0 4 6
BATE Borisov 6 1 2 3 5
Östersunds FK 0 – 3 Arsenal
Arsenal 1 – 2 Östersunds FK
AC Milan 0 – 2 Arsenal
Arsenal 3 – 1 AC Milan