Tip Arsenal - Villarreal
Arsenal have an uphill task as they host Villarreal, seeking to overturn a first leg deficit in the UEFA Europa League semi final. Villarreal won 2-1 in the first leg in Spain and Arsenal will need just a 1-0 win to advance after Nicolas Pepe’s second half penalty goal gave them some hope. The Gunners warmed up for this game with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League. It was their first clean sheet in four matches and they need more of that on Thursday to secure their place in the final. They have three wins in the last 10 matches and their clean sheets in the 10 matches have only come in those wins. Their loss to Villarreal was the second in four matches in this competition but the biggest worry will be the fact that they’ve managed just one clean sheet in the last nine Europa League matches. They go to this game having no win in the last five home matches and failed to score in three of them. In the last nine home matches, they have no clean sheet. In this game, they will miss the suspended Dani Ceballos, while Alex Lacazette is still out injured but David Luiz is available.
Villarreal labored through their 1-0 win over Getafe in La Liga, and will be hoping for a smoother game at the Emirates. It was their second straight win and the first clean sheet in seven matches. Villarreal haven’t lost any of their Europa League matches this season. Their coach, Unai Emery, once an Arsenal manager, is a specialist in this competition and even got the Gunners to the final two years ago. The Spanish side has won 12 of the 13 matches played this season in the competition. They have nine straight wins in Europa League matches coming right before this one, and have kept clean sheets in six of them. They’ve won with clean sheets in each of their last four away matches in Europa League and are unbeaten in six.
Key points Arsenal - Villarreal
Villarreal are unbeaten in Europa League this season.
Villarreal have one clean sheet in the last seven matches
Arsenal have no win in five home matches.
Arsenal have three clean sheets in the last 10 matches.
Villarreal have won to nil in their last four away Europa League matches.
Conclusion Arsenal - Villarreal
Villarreal have a fine run in the Europa League and they head to this game unbeaten in this season’s competition. Away from home, they haven’t conceded a goal in the last four matches in the competition. Arsenal haven’t done well at home this season, and especially as they head to this clash. Their run should worry manager Mikel Arteta, but then they are used to performing when not expected to. Arsenal will push Villarreal and we expect this to yield at least a goal. However, with their defensive problems, we don’t expect them to hold off Villarreal, and a draw looks like a good pick here.
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Arsenal Villarreal Prediction published on May 3, 2021