Luis Garcia states his prediction for Arsenal v Atletico Madrid in Europa League semi-final

The Liverpool FC legend is tipping Atletico Madrid to beat Arsenal in the Europa League

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger Photo: The Sport Review

Luis Garcia is backing Arsenal to beat Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final.

The Gunners will welcome the Spanish side to the Emirates Stadium for the opening leg of their first Europa League semi-final on Thursday night.

Arsenal are aiming to win Europe’s second tier competition to secure a place in next season’s Champions League.

The north London side missed out on a spot at Europe’s top table last term after the Gunners finished behind Liverpool FC.

Arsene Wenger’s side are in sixth spot in the English top flight and a long way behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth.

Atletico have beaten English opposition in seven of their nine two-legged ties in Uefa competition, including a Europe League semi-final win over Liverpool FC in 2010 before beating Fulham in the final.

Former Liverpool FC star Garcia believes Atletico will ease past Arsenal to reach their second Europa League final under Simeone.

“It’s easy for me. Even though Arsenal are a fantastic team and they’ve done very well in the Europa League, I think on this occasion Atletico Madrid look very strong, very compact at the back and have a lot of power up front,” Garcia told BetStars.

“I think that’s where Atletico Madrid can do a lot of damage to Arsenal.”

Arsenal lost to Turkish side Galatasaray in the Uefa Cup final in 2000.

The Gunners have beaten Serie A giants AC Milan and Russian side CSKA Moscow in the previous two rounds of the Europa League.

Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League title since 2003-04 when the Gunners finished the season unbeaten.

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