On Thursday, Villarreal will visit Emirates Stadium for the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Arsenal. The Yellow Submarine scored a 2-1 lead in the first leg with goals from Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol, while Nicolas Pepe’s penalty gave the Gunners hope. Know everything about how Arsenal and Villarreal will line up for Europa League semi- final return leg.
Arsenal lineup: Leno; Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Xhaka; Partey, Elneny; Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe; Aubameyang
Kieran Tierney and Alexandre Lacazette participated in full training on Tuesday in a big boot for Arsenal.
At the weekend, Mikel Arteta rested a whole load of players and will recall the likes of Bernd Leno, Bukayo Saka and Thomas Partey here.
Dani Ceballos received a red card in the first leg and got suspended from the return match. Mohamed Elneny has a decent chance of starting on Thursday with Granit Xhaka expected to start at left-back.
Given Nicolas Pepe’s form in the Europa League this season, only one of Martin Odegaard or Emile Smith Rowe will likely start on Thursday.
Villarreal lineup: Rulli; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Chukwueze, Parejo, Coquelin, Trigueros; Moreno, Bacca
Ex-Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin has a decent change of starting as a result. After a red card in the first leg former Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue misses out on a return to England.
Tottenham loanee Juan Foyth ruled out from the return leg after picking up an injury in the first leg raising major doubts over his availability on Thursday.
The Spanish side at least had Pervis Estupinan, Paco Alcacer and Ruben Pena available against Getafe at the weekend.
Alcacer surprisingly started against Getafe on Sunday raising the prospect of Carlos Bacca coming into the starting XI here.
Arsenal and Villarreal Prediction
Arsenal could have been destroyed in the first leg of the semi-finals but they cope up with a 2-1 defeat in Spain to put themselves in a good position to qualify for the final. The team is winless in their last five matches at the Emirates.
Villarreal will fancy their chances of getting another good result on Thursday and will no doubt be disappointed about how they let Arsenal into the tie last week. There will be extra motivation for Unai Emery back at his former club.
The Gunners arguably should not even be in with a chance of progressing to the final, but Arteta will aim to galvanize his troops and plenty of his big names are well-rested. We think this one will go the distance and are ultimately backing Arsenal’s prowess from 12 yards to carry them through to Gdansk.
Our Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Villarreal (3-3 aggregate, Arsenal to win on penalties)
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