Villarreal coach Unai Emery, who is a multiple Europa League winner, is all set to greet rivals Arsenal on Thursday for the first leg of Villarreal’s Europa League semi-final tie at the Estadio de la Ceramica. Gunners brushed away Slavia Prague 5-1 over two legs while the Yellow Submarine reached to the final four by defeating Dinamo Zagreb 3-1 on aggregate. Know everything about Villarreal vs Arsenal prediction, team news, and lineup for UEFA Europa League semi-finals first leg.
Villarreal lineup: Asenjo; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Estupinan; Chukwueze, Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros; Moreno, Alcacer
Pervis Estupinan returned to action against Barcelona on Sunday, leaving Vicente Iborra as the only injury concern.
In the Blaugrana’s defeat Manu Trigueros was given his marching orders, but he is free to begin here.
Unai Emery could stick to his 4-4-2 formation as he did in the Europa League, with Carlos Bacca replacing Paco Alcacer to partner Gerard Moreno.
Arsenal lineup: Leno; Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Xhaka; Partey, Ceballos; Saka, Odegaard, Pepe; Nketiah
Giving Arsenal a big boost Kieran Tierney, Alexandre Lacazette, and Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang will all play against Villarreal on Thursday.
Granit Xhaka will take place at left-back if Tierney is unable to start, with Eddie Nketiah on standby upfront.
Martin Odegaard has just returned from injury and is looking to retake his place as Arsenal’s No.10 player.
Villarreal vs Arsenal Prediction
Villarreal has lost three of their last five matches, which does not bode well for the Yellow Submarine’s chances against Arsenal on Thursday. They have, though, been outstanding in the Europa League, winning all six of their games at the Estadio de la Ceramica and losing just one of their 12 games.
Arsenal’s goal-scoring feats on the road have been admirable in recent weeks, but they would fail to maintain their hot streak without Aubameyang or Lacazette leading the way.
Emery is no stranger to Europa League success, and the ex-Arsenal manager will undoubtedly fantasize about knocking his former club out of the competition, but we believe the Gunners will do enough to earn a draw and set up a tense second leg at the Emirates.
Our Prediction: Villarreal 1-1 Arsenal
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