The UEFA Europa League is back in action with another important semi-final fixture this week as Arsenal lock horns with Villarreal at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday. Both teams have been inconsistent this season and will need to win this game.
Arsenal sit 9th in the Premier League and have no chance of reaching the top four.
The Gunners have lost two of their last three matches, starting with a 1-0 home defeat against Everton.
Arsenal have endured a disappointing season under Mikel Arteta and will view the Europa League as a shot at redemption. The Gunners eased past Newcastle United in their previous game and cannot afford a defeat against Villarreal in this fixture.
Villarreal are 6th in La Liga and can’t finish any higher than 5th. They have won 10 of their last 13 matches and 12 of their last 13 in the Europa League.
Villarreal have not been at their best in recent weeks and might lose out on European football this year.
Arsenal vs Villarreal Predictions:
- Arsenal have seen under 2.5 goals in 3 of their last 4 matches (all competitions).
- Arsenal are undefeated in 14 of their last 16 matches (Europa League).
- Arsenal are without a win in their last two home games in European competition.
- Arsenal have lost just one of their 11 knockout clashes with Spanish opponents on home soil.
- Villarreal have drawn 2 of their last 4 matches against Arsenal (all competitions).
- Villarreal are undefeated in their last 13 matches (Europa League), winning each of their last nine and last suffering defeat in April 2019.
- Villarreal have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 5 away matches (Europa League).
- Villarreal have progressed from 15 of their 16 two-legged ties in major European competition when winning the first leg.
- Both teams have scored in five of Arsenal’s last nine home matches.
Arsenal have a 2-1 record advantage against Villarreal with 2 draws in 5 matches.
Arsenal have a good record against Villarreal and have won two out of five games played between the two teams. Villarreal have defeated Arsenal on only one occasion in the past and will need to improve their record in this fixture.
They met in the 2008/09 Champions League quarter-finals. The first leg in Spain ended in a 1-1 draw before Arsenal won 3-0 in London.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place in the semi-final first leg last week and ended in a 2-1 victory for Villarreal. Arsenal scored a crucial away goal on the day but will need to be at their best to stand a chance on Thursday.
Arsenal have several issues to address ahead of this week’s Europa League fixture and will have to work hard to overcome the one-goal deficit from the first leg. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not had the best of seasons but his penchant for the big stage holds the Gunners in good stead going into this game.
Villarreal have not lost in the Europa League this season.
Our prediction: Draw @ 3.60