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Arsenal vs. Villarreal Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

30 April 2021

Thursday 7 May

Emirates Stadium – Europa League

Pau Torres and Bukayo Saka in action in the first leg Source: (Xisco Navarro/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

Arsenal will be aiming to overturn a 2-1 semi-final first leg deficit in their clash with La Liga side Villarreal. Mikel Arteta’s side are pushing for their third European final in three years but the first leg defeat has left them behind in the football betting online.

Past Meetings

Arsenal lost out with a 2-1 defeat in the first leg in their first defeat in five games against the Yellow Submarine. Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol gave Villarreal a 2-0 lead before half time, with Nicolas Pepe’s penalty just about keeping the Gunners in the tie.

Team News

Arteta is expected to have a fully fit squad available for the second leg with Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney both back fit but Dani Ceballos is suspended following his first leg red card.

Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery will be without midfielder Etienne Capoue after he was also dismissed in the first leg with another former Gunner, Francis Coquelin, set to replace him in the side.

Arsenal vs. Villarreal Preview and Predictions

Arsenal’s poor showing in the first leg has given them a real task on their hands to turn this tie around as they look to prevent their season from fizzling out. Arteta needs a place in the final to stand a realistic hope of qualifying for Europe next season with their route via the Premier League looking increasingly blocked.

Emery’s side dominated the first hour of the first leg but their sloppiness allowed Arsenal back into the game late on at the Estadio de la Ceramica. Villarreal have never reached a major final before and the former Sevilla boss also faces a battle to stop his side losing their nerve away from home.

With pressure on both managers ahead of this game, whoever reacts more positively will edge out, and with little to pick between them, a draw looks the more likely outcome, priced at 3.40. Arsenal are 1,86 to win on the night but a victory might not be enough with the balance tipped in Villarreal’s favour as, if the Spaniards score, Arsenal’s away goal is negated. Villarreal are 4.50 for the second leg win, with the draw at 3.40

Nicolas Pepe has been the key man for Arsenal in the knockout stages in 2021 with three goals to his name already at this stage of the competition. Arteta was criticised for his selection and approach on Thursday and needs to get it right this time – and that means getting the best from the likes of Pepe.

Recommended Bets

A 1-1 draw at 6.50

A draw would spell the end of Arsenal’s Europa League campaign this season and based on their first leg showing they would need a significant turnaround to get through to face either AS Roma or Manchester United.

Both teams to score 1.71

Arsenal will be forced to go on the attack in this game and they have only failed to score in one of their last six games in all competitions and they have kept just two clean sheets since the start of February.