Nervy first leg on the cards: Arsenal vs CSKA Europa League Preview

Arsenal host CSKA Moscow in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final. Infogol’s Analyst previews the game, using expected goals (xG) to assess both teams and generate the best bets.

Arsenal Expected Goals (xG)

Arsenal come into this game in good form having won their last four in all competitions. They are 13 points adrift of fourth place in the Premier League, so winning this competition is their only realistic chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

They were comfortable winners in their last 16 tie with AC Milan, coming through 5-1 on aggregate, as they created a host of chances once again (2 Leg xG: ARS 3.9 – 2.7 ACM).

The Gunners have had an easy route to this stage, qualifying through their group in comfortable fashion before beating Ostersunds and AC Milan. This may be slightly tougher, but they have the quality to come through this tie too.

CSKA Moscow Expected Goals (xG)

CSKA dropped into the Europa League thanks to finishing third in their Champions League group. They were flattered when beating Red Star Belgrade in the first knockout round, scraping through 1-0 over two legs (2 Leg xG: CSK 2.5 – 3.0 CRV).

They were also fortunate to get through the last round, as they caused a big shock in beating Lyon on away goals thanks to a 3-2 win in France. 

CSKA were once again second best in terms of xG over the two legs, and were very fortunate to make it through having conceded a host of chances (2 Leg xG: LYO 2.9 – 2.5 CSK). This may be a step too far for the Russians, but they can make life difficult for Arsenal in this first leg.

 

Conclusion

Arsenal are by far the better of the two teams, but this first leg is expected to be a tight one at a less-than-capacity Emirates. CSKA have only conceded three goals in their last four away matches in all competitions, and they look good value to limit Arsenal to under 2.5 goals.

 

Recommended bets:

Under 2.5 goals @ 11/10

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