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AC Milan Preview & Reserves Win

by on March 5, 2012

omorrow evening Arsenal take on Serie A champions AC Milan at the Emirates in the Champions League last sixteen second leg against the Italian league leaders. Last month the Gunners were heavily defeated by AC Milan 4-0 at the San Siro, Robinho scored a brace, former Tottenham midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng opened the scoring for Milan and Zlatan Ibrahimović also converted a penalty. Arsène Wenger has seen his side come from behind in recent weeks against the likes Tottenham and Liverpool in the Premiership and defeat them both. But the Gunners will need to win by five goals tomorrow if they want to progress to the quarter finals of the Champions League. It sounds almost impossible, Arsène Wenger described his side having a five per cent chance of qualifying.

The latest injury news for the Gunners is that Yossi Benayoun, Abou Diaby and Mikel Arteta are all out of the AC Milan tie. Czech midfielder Tomáš Rosický has been rated as doubtful for the match tomorrow with a groin injury but Rosický did train today and hopefully will be available to start tomorrow. Arsenal are also still missing Per Mertesacker, André Santos, Aaron Ramsey, Sébastien Squillaci, Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin through injury.

Reserve midfielder Oğuzhan Özyakup trained with the first-team today and is expected to be on the bench for the Gunners tomorrow after missing the Reserves win against Chelsea Reserves earlier on today. I expect the three behind Robin van Persie tomorrow will be Gervinho on the left, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain central behind the Dutchman and England international Theo Walcott on the right.

Possible Arsenal team – Szczęsny, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Sagna, Song, Rosický, Gervinho, Walcott, Chamberlain, van Persie (C).

Bench – Fabiański, Jenkinson, Miquel, Djourou, Özyakup, Chamakh, Park.

In other news Arsenal Reserves defeated Chelsea Reserves 2-0 this afternoon which meant Neil Banfield’s side have won their last four straight Reserve games. Goals came from the returning Chuks Aneke and former Barcelona Youth player Hector Bellerin scoring on his Reserve début. Arguably Arsenal’s standout player was Serge Gnabry causing Chelsea all sorts of problems, Damian Martinez made a number of fine saves to deny Chelsea from scoring as well.

The loan window does not shut until 24 March, I expect another loan move for Chuks Aneke could be on the cards. Other players like Nico Yennrias and Özyakup could also still go out on loan.

You can follow me on twitter @AFC_93.

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