The 1st match saw all the action in the 1st half. Aaron Ramsey’s opening strike for Arsenal was quickly canceled out by Aleksandr Golovin before three quick goals from Alexandre Lacazette (two) and another from Ramsey left Arsenal in a strong position ahead of the match in Moscow.
CSKA Moscow comes into this match after a shock Monday night home loss to Dynamo Moscow (2-1) and now sit 3rd in the Russian Premier League, 8 points off the top. CSKA Moscow have lost 3 of their last 4 home European matches this season.
Arsene Wenger is currently amid his annual scramble to save face and possibly his job. A win in the UEL tournament is the club’s only hope of making a UEFA Champions League return as they sit out of contention in 6th in the Premier League.
Arsenal's form has picked up of late though and they have won their last 6 matches, including a 3-2 victory over Southampton on Sunday, but 5 of those 6 matches were at home. Away from home, Arsenal have won just 2 of 8 matches since Christmas in all competitions (W2, D1, L5). Those 2 wins, however, were both in the UEL.
With top scorer Vitinho being benched in recent matches, CSKA Moscow will look to Pontus Wernbloom for goals. Mesut Özil will be expected to supply the ammo for Arsenal’s attackers, especially in the absence of Henrik Mkhitaryan.
17 of Arsenal’s 20 matches in 2018 (in all competitions) have seen over 2.5 goals, while CSKA Moscow’s last 6 also had over 2.5 goals. Arsenal are this season’s UEL top scorers with 27 goals in 11 matches. This is CSKA Moscow’s 21st match against English opposition (W3, D5, L12), while Arsenal’s record against Russian teams stands at: W3, D2, L4.
CSKA Moscow won 1-0 when the teams last met in Moscow (2006/’07).