Arsenal today will square off with Villarreal at the Estadio de la Ceramica in Villarreal in the first leg of the Europa League semifinal. The match kicks off at 8PM UK.
Villarreal are under the managership of former Arsenal boss Unai Emery. The Spaniard has an impressive record in the Europa League, dubbed the “Europa specialist” Emery has won this competition thrice and managed to guide Arsenal to the finals.
Both sides lost in their last domestic games, 7th placed Villarreal lost 2-1 at home to Barcelona while Arsenal dropped to 10th after a shocking 1-0 home defeat to Everton.
Mikel Arteta in his press conference stated that all the players are in contention to play. This includes Kieran Tierney and Alexandre Lacazette who were both initially ruled out the end of the season.
This is a major boost for Arsenal as they’ll have all the fire power they need to take on Villarreal.
Tierney and Lacazette may have recovered from their injuries but it is unlikely that they’ll be thrown straight into the starting lineup. But Aubameyang is expected to start as Arsenal look to take advantage of playing away in the first leg.
This will be the fifth meeting between the gunners and the yellow submarines. The previous four meeting came in the UEFA Champions League, Arsenal winning two and drawing the other two.
Arsenal are yet to beat Villarreal away from home with both encounters ending in stalemates in Spain (2006,2009)
Unai Emery’s side are unbeaten in this season’s Europa League (W11,D1) while Arsenal are unbeaten away from home in the Europa League (W5,D1).
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