As Man United will be lurking horns with AS Roma on home turf, Arsenal will be looking to put away Villarreal in Spain in the second fixture of the UEFA Europa League Semi final. This game will kick-off at 7:00 GMT, 8:00 pm Nigerian time on the 29th of April, 2021.

Villarreal will be making their third semi final involvements in the Europa League since 2011, although they have failed to make it any further to the finals on those previous occasions, they will be looking to squeeze their self to Gdnask for a place in the final if they can put aside Arsenal. The Yellow Submarines as they are fondly called have a near perfect record in this season’s Europa League with the Spanish club winning 11 of their last 12 Europa league games, drawing just once in that process. They’ve scored an exactly 2 goals in five of their last six knockout encounter, bragging of  six shut outs in eleven games in that process.

The maybe looking to establish a home leg advantage in this fixture as the Spanish outfit have a healthy 60% of their 25 goals across this season’s competition coming on home turf. With such an impressive record, it is not surprising that three of their last five home victories this season have been accompanied by a 2or more goal difference. 

Arsenal will be looking for their second Europa League final appearance in three seasons but will have to get past former head coach, Unai Emery. The Gunners recently fell to a Spanish opposition – Atletico Madrid in the semi final in 2017/2018 season but will be looking to draw confidence from their last visit to Spain in UEFA competition in a game in which they ran away with a 4-2 win over Valencia.

Encouragingly for Mikel Arteta’s side is that two of their best results in the knockout phase this season of margins were both gotten away from home; while across 2020/2021 Europa League season, they are yet to suffer a loss away from home soil, winning six of their last seven games. With that’s been said, the Gunners look rusty going into this encounter as they go into this crucial clash with a poor eight game run that have seen them won just twice, losing and drawing thrice each. They would want to improve from this game.

The Yellow Submarines have a continental goal scorer in person of Gerard Moreno who has scored first in an impressive four of his last five Europa League appearances, he will be on guard to coast Villarreal past Arsenal.

In a similar fashion, Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe has also opened the scoring for the Gunners  four times this season in the Europa League – he scored first in both legs of the Quarter final fixtures.

On injury front, Unai Emery will be facing his former employers without Vincente Iborra who is suffering from an Ankle injury will be  the only absentee in this encounter.

Mikel Arteta will be without stand out striker, Alexandre Lacazette who is out with a Thigh injury, Keieran Tierney will also be out due to a Knee problem; the duo will miss the Gunners trip to Spain, while club captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and David Luiz will undergo a late fitness test to ascertain their readiness for this encounter.

This second tier European club football clash at Estadio de la Ceramica will see Portuguese Artur Soares Dias as the centre referee. 


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