Arsenal vs Villarreal
It has come down to this for Arsenal as they’re facing their biggest challenge this season. The Gunners take on the Yellow Submarine once more at the Emirates for the second leg of their semifinals tie in the Europa League this Thursday.
They’re trailing by one goal after their loss in the first leg as they were blitzed in the first half. However, here at SBOTOP, we feel that there’s still a chance for them to pull off an upset should things go according to plan.
On the flip side, Villarreal are well-aware that they need one more great outing to finally brush aside Arsenal.
A draw will be enough for them to move on, although Unai Emery would prefer an emphatic win in order to make a bold statement.
Arsenal have their backs against the wall
The pressure is mounting for Mikel Arteta to deliver over at the Emirates.
Arsenal’s season objectives are technically still within reach. But if positive results don’t continue starting on Thursday, the management might consider sacking the club icon similar to what Chelsea did to Frank Lampard last January.
Arteta’s future will be reliant on what will happen here in the Europa League, as well as whether they can sneak into an European qualification in the Premier League.
The Gunners, though, have climbed up to the ninth spot after going undefeated in three of their last four league matches and they’re fresh from a victory against Newcastle last week.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 15th goal of the season in the 66th minute of his first game back after battling malaria to add on to Mohamed Elneny’s goal during the sixth minute.
The Gabon international looked fresh as a daisy during the said game and he will play a significant role to Arsenal’s fortunes in their upcoming game against Villarreal.
Mikel Arteta is hopeful that Aubameyang can get back to his lethal form and produce multiple Europa League 2021 highlights given that they’ll have several key players sidelined.
Dani Ceballos is suspended after his red card in the first leg, while David Luiz, Kieran Tierney, and Alexandre Lacazzette are considered questionable due to fitness issues.
Revenge is going to be sweet for Unai Emery and Villarreal
Villarreal shouldn’t be complacent despite having the tie lead, and their manager in Unai Emery is certain to motivate his boys to exact his revenge over his former employers.
The grizzled tactician may not admit it publicly, but we wouldn’t blame him if he feels that way given his unceremonious exit at the Emirates last season.
Emery will put out his strongest lineup as they’ll look to close out Arsenal, and it helps that some of their key players were rested in their 1-0 win against Getafe last Sunday.
One of them is Gerard Moreno who’ll look to bust out of his drought given that he has yet to score since their victory over Levante last month.
He’ll be joined by Paco Alcacer, Samuel Chukwueze, and Moi Gomez to form a robust front that can exploit Arsenal’s frailties at the back.
Momentum is clearly on Villarreal’s side since they’ve won 12 of their last 13 Europa League matches.
The Gunners and the Yellow Submarine have met five times prior to Thursday. Arsenal have won and draw twice while Villarreal only won once.
Villarreal’s only win in this matchup is their first leg victory last week. Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol scored one goal apiece in the first half, and that was enough to disarm the Gunners although Nicolas Pepe’s away goal might prove to be crucial.
Before that, they have lost to Arsenal both in the 2006 Champions League semis and in the 2009 Champions League quarterfinals.
|Arsenal vs Villarreal||1X2 Draw @ 3.65|
|May 7, 03:00 (GMT+8)|
Arsenal are the favourites here in the updated Europa League 2021 odds.
Mikel Arteta’s side is expected to win 1.87, whereas Unai Emery and co. are pegged at 3.65 and a draw is priced to win at the same rate in the 1×2 market.
Arsenal’s form at home has been putrid which is why they’re lucky that they’re only trailing by a single goal against Villarreal.
But Unai Emery’s experience at the big stage plays a huge role here and we’re expecting this to be a 1-1 stalemate, which should be enough for Villarreal to advance in the Europa League finals.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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