3 Key Battles Which Could Determine Arsenal's Europa League Last 16 Clash With AC Milan

Arsenal host Serie A giants AC Milan at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League last 16 tie.

Arsene Wenger's side are in full control after they strolled past I Rossoneri 2-0 at San Siro in the first leg.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave the visitors the lead with his first goal for the club since his January move from Manchester United, before Aaron Ramsey deservedly doubled their advantage seconds from the break.

Here are three key battles which could prove to be decisive at Emirates:

3. Danny Welbeck vs Leonardo Bonnuci

With Alexandre Lacazette still out due to injury and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang unavailable having previously played for Dortmund in their UEFA Champions League campaign, Danny Welbeck will again start for Arsenal in attack. 

The England international didn't look like scoring against I Rossoneri in the reverse fixture, but his continuous running helped to stretch the defence and open up space in the midfield which was then exploited by Ozil and co. 

Welbeck needs to do the same on Thursday and, with Milan needing to attack, his pace could be pivotal on the counter attack, especially against 30-year-old Leonardo Bonucci.

2. Hector Bellerin vs Ricardo Rodriguez

Hector Bellerin is expected to be fit for Thursday's Europa League clash after recovering from a knee injury which kept him out of the first leg, and will likely start ahead of Calum Chambers at right back. 

Calhanoglu will probably start on the left of Milan's attacking trio, although the midfielder prefers to drift infield, and so Bellerin will have to be warier of the threat posed by full back Ricardo Rodriguez 

Rodriguez is likely to push higher up as Milan become desperate in their search for goals - that should leave space down the right for Bellerin to exploit on the counter. Nevertheless, the Spaniard will need to carefully consider when to attack and when to stay back. 

1. Mesut Ozil vs Lucas Biglia/Franck Kessie

Arsenal were excellent in the previous encounter but Milan were also awful and especially in midfield. 

If Ozil is allowed to orchestrate the midfield like he did at San Siro, then the tie is as good as over. Defensive midfielder Lucas Biglia will need to do a lot better as will his partner Kessie, who was particularly woeful in the first leg.