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Europa League preview: Wenger guards Arsenal against complacency

Arsenal would be hoping to reach a European semifinal for the first time since 2009 Champions League.

Bengaluru, April 12: Though they are sitting pretty with a 4-1 lead from the opening leg, Arsenal is not taking anothing for granted and will go in with their strongest team and best-possible attitude when they face CSKA Moscow in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League quarterfinal on Thursday.

Despite being in firm control of the proceedings, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has guarded his side against complacency and has cited La Liga giants' Barcelona's capitulation against AS Roma in the Champions League quarterfinal to warn his Arsenal players to try and add to their lead rather than sit back and defend.

As they travel to Russia, the north London side hold the same 4-1 advantage as Barcelona when they travelled to Roma.

But the Seria A giants overcame that with a 3-0 home win to progress to the semifinals on the basis on away-goals advantage.

"The best way to build on the advantage is to try to win the game, so we will play with our best possible team and have a positive attitude," Wenger said in the pre-match press conference.

"We're in a position where I don't think we are under threat of complacency...

"Tuesday night (in Rome) may be a good warning for us but let us not go overboard as well. Yes, we've a big job to do but we're in a strong position and it is how we approach the game that will be vital."

Arsenal's progression would mark the first time the Premier League club would reach an European semifinal since the Champions League in 2008/09.

Wenger's side return to Premier League action against Newcastle United on Sunday.

Advantage Atletico

In the other key fixture, Atletico Madrid will take on Sporting Lisbon at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Diego Simeone's men secured a comfortable 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture thanks to Koke and Antoine Griezmann's first-half efforts and the La Liga club will be aiming to finish the job and progress to the semifinals.

Griezmann, who has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season, will once again hold the key to Atletico's fortunes.

Quarterfinal schedule

CSKA Moscow vs Arsenal

FC Salzburg vs Lazio

Marseille vs RB Leipzig

Sporting CP vs Atletico Madrid

Kick off at 12.35 am (Friday) IST

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Story first published: Thursday, April 12, 2018, 16:25 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 12, 2018
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