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Villarreal vs Arsenal: Gunners aiming to get better of their former manager

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

Mikel Arteta and Unai Emery will lock horns when Arsenal travel to Estadio de la Ceramica on Thursday, for the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-final against Villarreal.

The two Spaniards take center stage for this clash, with Unai Emery famously dismissed in December 2019, before Mikel Arteta took over from his compatriot. Coincidentally, the last manager to take Arsenal to this stage of the competition was Unai Emery himself in 2019.

With Arsenal languishing in tenth place in the Premier League and Villarreal in seventh, both sides need the Europa League for any hopes of European football next season.

Both teams come into this game after losses at the weekend and we can expect an end-to-end encounter. It will be a closely contested game but Arsenal will fancy their chances in Spain tonight.

Villarreal Form and Stats

Villarreal have won eight of their last 11 matches in all competitions and 11 of their last 12 in the Europa League.

The Yellow Submarine got past Dinamo Zagreb in the quarter-finals, winning 1-0 in Croatia and 2-1 in Spain.

Unai Emery’s side returned to La Liga with a 5-1 win at Levante. Villarreal couldn’t follow it up and have lost their last two games, slipping to 7th in La Liga.

Villarreal lost 2-1 at Deportivo Alaves and 2-1 at home against Barcelona on Sunday. Samuel Chukwueze opened the scoring but they fell behind and couldn’t come back after Manu Trigueros was sent off in the 65th minute.

  • Villarreal have won 11 of their last 12 matches (UEFA Europa League).
  • Villarreal have won to nil in 6 of their last 8 matches (UEFA Europa League).
  • Villarreal have won 8 of their last 11 matches (all competitions).
  • Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno has scored 21 goals in his last 24 matches for club and country (all competitions).

Arsenal Form and Stats

Arsenal sit 10th in the Premier League after an inconsistent season.

The Gunners got past Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-finals, a 1-1 draw in London followed by a 3-0 win in Prague.

Mikel Arteta’s side returned to the Premier League with a 1-1 draw at home against Fulham. Eddie Nketiah scored a 95th-minute equalizer in a match where they dominated.

Arsenal’s last match was a 1-0 home defeat against Everton. Bernd Leno produced a howler 14 minutes from time to gift Everton the win.

  • Arsenal have seen BTTS No in three of their last four matches (all competitions).
  • Arsenal have not lost in their last 10 away games (all competitions)
  • Arsenal have scored at least a goal in their last 14 away games (all competitions)

Team News

Villarreal: Only midfielder Vicente Iborra is injured.

Arsenal: Mikel Arteta has a fully fit squad to choose from.

Predicted Line-up

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


Arsenal have a 2-0 advantage against Villarreal with two draws in four matches.

These clubs last 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.

Match Facts

Betting Tips