Villarreal host Arsenal in the first leg of UEFA Europa League semifinals on Friday at the Estadio de la Ceramica. Thus, it would be a reunion for Unai Emery against his former club and he has a chance to prove himself.
The Yellow Submarines from Spain are impressive in the Europa League due to the talented Gerard Moreno. They overcame Dinamo Zagreb in the Quarterfinals, Dynamo Kiev in the Round of 16, and Red Bull Salzburg in the Round of 32 after topping their group. However, the loss to Barcelona in the La Liga has deteriorated their confidence a bit.
Whereas, the Gunners have this competition as their final hope to be in Europe for the next season. They are currently sitting 10th in the Premier League and, winning Europa League will guarantee a place in the Champions League after five years.
Villarreal vs Arsenal Preview:
Unai Emery helped his Arsenal team reaching the final of the Europa League in the 2018-19 season, however, Chelsea beat them 4-1. But now, he’s facing his former club and would be looking to reach the final and win it. Emery’s trump card is certainly the clinical striker, Gerard Moreno.
The Spanish club has never won against the Gunners and this might be the inspiration for the Spanish club. In contrast to this, Mikel Arteta is keen on adding another trophy to his name and the trophy that slipped from them in 2018-19. The London club is also looking forward to playing in the Champions League after a long gap of five years.
However, it would be a mountain to climb while playing the Europa League specialist Unai Emery. Another trophy might also prevent Arteta from getting sacked. Four matches have been played between the clubs so far and Arsenal have won two and the rest two matches ended as draws.
Villarreal form : L L W W L W W W W W
Arsenal form : L D W W D L D L W W
Villarreal vs Arsenal Team News:
Vicente Iborra is out with a knee injury whereas Francis Coquelin, Dani Parejo, and Etienne Capoue might feature in the starting 11. Thus, Emery has no major injury problems and he can field a fully fit squad.
Arteta has a major boost as Martin Odegaard, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, David Luiz, Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney are all available for the crunch match. However, the coach will only include them if they are 100% fit.
Predicted Line-ups and Score :
Unai Emery might be making very few changes to his side that faced Barcelona. He might field a 4-4-2 formation.
Mikel Arteta might include David Luiz, Martin Odegaard and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang. We are predicting a 4-3-1-2 formation.
Predicted Score: Villarreal 2 – 1 Arsenal
Also, follow our Twitter page for the latest updates on Europa League and Indian football.