AC Milan are going to be in one of the most interesting ties in the Europa League round of 16, as they will face off against English giants Arsenal.
The #UELdraw has spoken: it's #ACMAFC #Roundof16 First leg at San Siro on 8 March— AC Milan (@acmilan) February 23, 2018
Return game at the Emirates Stadium in London on the 15th
Agli Ottavi sfideremo l'@Arsenal! Andata a San Siro e ritorno a Londra ✈️ pic.twitter.com/y2tpNGu1C2
Milan will host the first leg of the two-legged tie on Thursday, 8 March 2018 with the second leg to be played on Thursday, 15 March in London at the Emirates Stadium.
These two matches will the be the 7th and 8th time the two European giants will have played each other in competitive matches. The two teams, right now, have an even record with 2 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses apiece. Besides the 1995 European Super Cup, Milan faced off against Arsenal in the 2008 and 2012 Champions League. In 2008, Arsenal were able to defeat Milan, however, in the Champions League round of 16 in 2012, Milan won 4-0 at home and held on at the Emirates stadium for a 3-0 loss to move on.
The two titans of European football meeting in the Europa League is a bit strange, as just a few years ago, both teams would have been expected to challenge for the European Cup, well at least seven time champion Milan would have been expected to challenge for it at least. Of the remaining teams, this draw will garner the most attention, as the winner of this match will likely be considered favorites going forward.
Both teams sit eight points outside of a spot in next year’s Champions League, with Milan sitting in 7th place on 41 points, and Arsenal in 6th place on 45 points. And while Milan have been on a magical run, going unbeaten so far in the year 2018, Arsenal have been inconsistent, having won only three of their last five matches, however Arsenal will be in the final of the English League Cup this Sunday, 25 February, facing off against Manchester City in an attempt to win the season’s first trophy in England.
So are you excited to face Arsenal at this point in the Europa League, or were you hoping for an “easier” opponent so that Milan could focus on closing the gap between them and the teams above them in the table? Let us know in the comments!