UEL Preview: Arsenal vs Villarreal – Key stats, line-ups, odds, prediction

Bukayo Saka-Arsenal

Arsenal will host Villarreal in the Europa League semi-finals second leg.

Stadium: The Emirates Stadium

Key Statistics

  • Villarreal remain undefeated in all of their last 12 games in European competition, including the 2-1 in the first leg.
  • Arsenal are without a win in their previous two home games, and a third one means it will be for the first time since 2006.
  • The Gunners have progressed to the next round on the previous two occasions whenever they lost in the first leg.

Summary of the first leg

Unai Emery’s Villarreal locked horns with Arsenal last week in the first leg. The Spanish side gave a double blow to Mikel Arteta’s side after going upfront inside 30 minutes. A ten-man Gunners ( Ceballos was shown red) managed to halve the deficit in the second half but couldn’t find the equaliser in the end.


The Gunners’ last resort to make amendments for their troubled season is to win the Europa League.

However, the Gunners are coming off a great game against Newcastle United and will look for a turnaround in the second leg.

Mohamed Elneny, who scored against the Magpies, would start in midfield for suspended Ceballos, while star forward Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s return to form is a massive boost for the Gunners.

Possible line-ups

Leno; Chambers, Holding, Gabriel, Xhaka; Partey, Elneny; Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe; Aubameyang

It’s true for some players it might be their last season [at the club] for different reasons. I can see how much [the UEFA Europa League] means to them and how much they want it. [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] played well [in Sunday’s 2-0 win at Newcastle] and he felt much better than the days before that. Scoring a goal is really important for him so he’s in a good place. I think it’s only the tenth time the club have played a European semi-final so it’s a big moment for us.

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal manager


Villarreal have been impressive under Emery this season, and the win over Getafe will only give them extra confidence going into the second leg.

Gerard Moreno, one of La Liga’s top players this season, would look to get back on the scoresheet after failing to do so in the first leg.

Pau Torres, the young centre-back of the Yellow Submarine, is another player to watch out for as the Spaniard holds the key to defence, whether it is building from the back or defending in tight spaces.

Possible line-ups

Rulli; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Chukwueze, Parejo, Coquelin, Trigueros; Moreno, Bacca

We are going into this second leg with maximum respect for Arsenal and the Europa League, and lots of enthusiasm. We are going to see Aubameyang in action, so we are going to see the best of Arsenal, individually and collectively. The first-leg result doesn’t change my view of the tie: Arsenal started as favourites and they are still favourites. We will do our best to compete.

Unai Emery, Villarreal manager

Betting odds

Arsenal : Draw : Villarreal :: 1.80 : 3.80 : 4.33

Arsenal GoalVillarreal GoalOddsQualification


Arsenal 2 – 1 Villarreal.