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.
Villarreal have not been at their best in recent weeks and might lose out on European football this year. The Yellow Submarines edge Getafe to a narrow 1-0 victory over the weekend and will need to take it up a notch against a formidable Gunners outfit.
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.
Arsenal vs Villarreal Head-to-Head
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.
The previous meeting between the two teams took place in the 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 form guide: W-L-L-D-W
Villarreal form guide: W-W-L-L-W
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Arsenal vs Villarreal Team News
Dani Ceballos was sent off against Villarreal last week and is suspended for this match. Kieran Tierney and Alexandre Lacazette are carrying injuries at the moment and are unlikely to be risked in this fixture.
Injured: David Luiz
Doubtful: Kieran Tierney, Alexandre Lacazette
Suspended: Dani Ceballos
With Etienne Capoue serving a suspension this week, former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin will likely partner Dani Parejo and Manu Trigueros in Villarreal's midfield. Vicente Iborra is also injured and has been ruled out of this fixture.
Injured: Vicente Iborra
Doubtful: Juan Foyth
Suspended: Etienne Capoue
Arsenal vs Villarreal Predicted XI
Arsenal Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Granit Xhaka; Mohamed Elneny, Thomas Partey; Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Villarreal Predicted XI (4-3-3): Geronimo Rulli; Alfonso Pedraza, Pau Torres, Raul Albiol, Mario Gaspar; Francis Coquelin, Manu Trigueros, Dani Parejo; Gerard Moreno, Carlos Bacca, Samuel Chukwueze
Arsenal vs Villarreal Prediction
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.
Unai Emery has forged Villarreal into an ambitious unit and will want to get one over his former side this week. Arsenal scored a crucial away goal last week, however, and could potentially reach the finals of the UEFA Europa League.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Villarreal