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Europa League Preview: Arsenal v Villarreal

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Europa League Preview: Arsenal v Villarreal

Arsenal host Villarreal in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final tie needing to overturn a 2-1 deficit. Crucially the Gunners have an away goal to take into the game at the Emirates.

After last weeks disappointing defeat in Spain, Mikel Arteta will need to rejuvenate his team as they look to get to the Europa League final. Arteta will be grateful for Nicolas Pepe’s penalty last week that grabbed an away goal, in a game that Arsenal didn’t threaten much.

Reaching, and winning the final is crucial for Arsenal for them to have a successful season and have any chance of European football next season. Currently sitting in 9th leaves Arteta’s side with not much chance of playing in Europe next season. Whoever wins the Europa League automatically enters into the Champions League group stage the following season.

A defeat this evening would mean Arsenal miss out on European football for the first time in 25 years.

 

Team News

In last weeks game, Arteta opted against playing a striker, in what appeared to be a Man City inspired formation. Emile Smith Rowe played the false 9 role, with Pepe, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka supporting. Arteta’s decision came under criticism but tonight he has Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back from malaria and in contention.

Dani Ceballos is suspended for Arsenal, as is Etienne Capoue for Villarreal.

Arsenal will make a late judgement on Alexandre Lacazette, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney.

Villarreal is without Vicente Iborra for certain. Juan Foyth is a doubt after he missed Villarreal’s weekend fixture.

 

Predicted Line-Ups

Arsenal – Leno; Bellerin, Gabriel, Holding, Xhaka; Partey, Elneny; Pepe, Odegaard, Saka; Aubameyang.

Villarreal – Rulli; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Chukwueze, Parejo, Coquelin, Trigueros; Moreno, Alcacer.

 

How to watch the game

You can catch the game live on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport Ultimate.

When is the game?

The game kick-off is 8 pm Thursday, 6th May at Emirates Stadium.

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Europa League Preview: Arsenal v Villarreal.’ Do you think Arsenal will make it to the Europa League Final? Let us know!

 

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Josh is a recent MA Sports Journalism graduate and a BA (hons) Sports Studies graduate. He is passionate about football, Sheffield Wednesday, Liam Gallagher and writing about himself in 3rd person. Josh is contactable via email at stedman890@gmail.com

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