Unai Emery will return to Arsenal, as he prepares his team for the second leg of the Europa League. Villarreal won the first leg at home by 2-1. Manu Trigueros broke the deadlock in the first leg, Raul Albiol added another one.
However, the Gunners got the crucial away goal courtesy of a Nicolas Pepe penalty. This reduced the deficit by one goal and it has given the Gunners some hope, as they host Villarreal for the second leg.
Reaching the final could potentially give Arsenal a chance to qualify for the Europa League. Currently, they are five points behind seventh-place Liverpool. While for Unai Emery, it could be redemption, proving the Gunners that he is capable of winning the trophy with any club.
Analysis: Arsenal vs Villarreal
Despite the away goal, the Gunners are in a difficult position. This season they have struggled at both ends of the pitch. They have conceded silly goals and at one point in time, they were struggling to score goals as well. Thus Arteta and his team will try that such circumstances don’t repeat again.
On the other hand, Emery will prefer if the Gunners bring the game to them. Villarreal will be away from home and they will defend in big numbers to frustrate the Gunners. The Spanish side will put more of their players on one side of the pitch and try to dispossess Arsenal players. After that, they will try to counter-attack.
While for Mikel Arteta’s team this overloading will be the chance to switch the play. If they succeed in switching the play, the yellow submarine players will be in a one-on-one situation with Arsenal wingers. They will have time and space to attack and put the ball inside the box.
When and Where?
Arsenal will host Villarreal in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final at Emirates stadium on 07.05.2021 at 12:30 AM.
Team News and Injury Update
Kieran Tierney and Alexandre Laccazatte are doubts for the game. Both of them returned to training but it is unlikely that both of them will be rushed into action. David Luiz suffered an injury at the weekend against Newcastle United. It is unclear whether he will start or not. Dani Ceballos was shown a red card in the first leg, he is suspended for this game.
Predicted Line Up: Leno; Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Xhaka; Partey, Elneny; Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe; Aubameyang.
Etienne Capoue, Juan Flyoth, Vincente Iborra all three of them are out injured. Apart from these three Emery has no other injury concerns.
Predicted Line Up: Rulli; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Chukwueze, Parejo, Coquelin, Trigueros; Moreno, Bacca.
Head to Head stats
Both teams have faced each other five times, Arsenal have won 2 times, Villarreal have won 2 times and one game has been a draw.
Though the Gabon international hasn’t been at his best this season but still he is a deadly striker. He is very much capable of causing damage to the yellow submarines. In the first leg, they cleared missed him and his clever off-the-ball moments will cause problems to the visitors.
The Spanish international will use his experience to navigate the Villarreal midfield. Parejo’s experience will be crucial for them in this big game. Often the presence of such players calms down the whole team.
12th Man Prediction: Arsenal 1 vs Villarreal 1
Unai Emery really knows how to win the Europa League, not only this at times Arsenal have really struggled to open up the opposition. The yellow submarines have some good and experienced players as well. This could make the difference.