Frank Lampard states his prediction for Arsenal v Atletico Madrid
The Chelsea FC legend believes Arsenal can't rely on their home support alone to inspire them to victory over Atletico Madrid
Frank Lampard believes Arsenal are in for a very difficult home clash against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final.
The Gunners will welcome the Spanish side to north London in their first European game since Arsene Wenger announced his intention to stand down at the end of the 2017-18 season.
The French coach has the chance to sign off at the Emirates Stadium with his first European trophy since taking over the reins at Arsenal back in 1996.
Arsenal lost to Galatasaray on penalties in the Uefa Cup in 2000 before a 2-1 loss to FC Barcelona in the Champions League final in 2006.
The Gunners were 4-1 winners against West Ham United at The Emirates last weekend as the Arsenal supporters showed their appreciation for Wenger.
However, the Premier League side will come up against an Atletico side who are in second place in the La Liga standings.
Los Rojiblancos won the Europa League in 2012 before reaching the Champions League final in 2014 and 2016.
Former Chelsea FC star Lampard warned Arsenal that home support alone won’t be enough to carry them to victory over Diego Simeone’s men at The Emirates in the first leg of their semi-final clash.
“Even if Arsenal fans make more of an atmosphere following Arsene Wenger’s announcement that he’s leaving, they still face an extremely difficult Europa League tie against Atletico Madrid,” Lampard told the Evening Standard.
“Maybe the home crowd will have a bit more of a bounce about them. A lot of supporters have wanted Wenger to move on for a while and now they’ve got their wish.
“I’m sure they can create a lot of noise. In truth, when you have a 60,000 stadium, you should be doing that every week but recent circumstances at Arsenal have changed that.
“There has been talk that the timing of Wenger announcing he is leaving at the end of the season will galvanise everyone to win the competition and give him the perfect send-off.
“But this is Atletico Madrid, one of the strongest sides in Europe, and it will come down to what the Arsenal players do on the pitch rather than the noise in the stands. We have seen in recent years that whenever Arsenal have been paired against one of the elite teams in Europe, they’ve been knocked out.”
Arsenal are in sixth place in the Premier League table.