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Arsenal vs Villarreal: Must win-game for the Gunners on home soil

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Ace Football previews the Europa League game between Arsenal and Villarreal and offers betting tips, odds, line-ups, and team news.

Arsenal host Villarreal on Thursday in their biggest match of the season as they look to overturn a 2-1 deficit and reach a second Europa League final in three years.

The first leg in Spain was a dramatic one. Villarreal went two goals up before Dani Ceballos was sent off for the Gunners. Nicolas Pepe then scored what could be a vital away goal for Arsenal, and former Spurs midfielder Etienne Capoue was also shown a red card. Villarreal will be confident after their first-leg display, but there’s still all to play for. A 1-0 victory would be enough for Mikel Arteta’s men to go through.

However, the Gunners would be wary of the venue. Arsenal have not won at home in their last five attempts and they must end that negative stat if they are to stand any chance to progress.

Arsenal Form and Stats

Arsenal sit 9th in the Premier League and have no chance of reaching the top four.

The Gunners have lost two of their last three matches, starting with a 1-0 home defeat against Everton. Bernd Leno produced a howler 14 minutes from time.

Mikel Arteta’s side traveled to Spain to take on Villarreal in the Europa League semi-final first leg. They were 2-0 down at half-time, Nicolas Pepe scoring a penalty after Dani Ceballos had been sent off to secure a 2-1 defeat.

Arsenal’s last match was a 2-0 win at Newcastle in the Premier League. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang assisted Mohamed Elneny for the opening goal and converted a Gabriel Martinelli cross in the 66th minute.

  • Arsenal have seen under 2.5 goals in 3 of their last 4 matches (all competitions).
  • Arsenal are undefeated in 14 of their last 16 matches (Europa League).
  • Arsenal are without a win in their last five home games (all competitions)

Villarreal Form and Stats

Villarreal are 6th in La Liga and can’t finish any higher than 5th. They have won 10 of their last 13 matches and 12 of their last 13 in the Europa League.

The Yellow Submarine lost 2-1 at Deportivo Alaves and 2-1 against Barcelona before the Europa League semi-finals.

Villarreal hosted Arsenal in the first leg. Goals to Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol established a 2-0 lead but they let Arsenal back into the contest in a 2-1 win.

Unai Emery’s side returned to La Liga with a 1-0 home win against Getafe. Yeremi Pino came off the bench to score a late winner.

  • Villarreal have drawn two of their last four matches against Arsenal (all competitions).
  • Villarreal are undefeated in their last 13 matches (Europa League).
  • Villarreal have seen under 2.5 goals in their last 5 away matches (Europa League).

Team News

Arsenal: Arsenal centre back David Luiz is injured and left back Kieran Tierney is doubtful. Strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should get a start here with Alexandre Lacazette doubtful. Midfielder Dani Ceballos is suspended.

Villarreal: Midfielder Vicente Iborra is injured and Etienne Capoue is suspended. Defender Juan Foyth is doubtful.

Predicted Line-up

(Note: The image will change to the official XI once they’re both announced)


Arsenal have a 2-1 record advantage against Villarreal with two draws in five matches.

They met in the 2008/09 Champions League quarter-finals. The first leg in Spain ended in a 1-1 draw before Arsenal won 3-0 in London.

Villarreal won 2-1 at home in the semi-final first leg last week.

Match Facts

Betting Tips