2021 Europa League Semi-Finals Betting Preview
Understandably, the Super League saga has completely dominated European soccer this week.
But let’s not forget that two of the 12 teams involved in the proposed plans – Manchester United and Arsenal – are still in the Europa League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side faces Roma in the semi-finals, while the Gunners are set for a reunion with former manager Unai Emery and Villarreal.
Here is the Europa League semi-final draw in full.
- Manchester United vs. Roma
- Villarreal vs. Arsenal
With the first legs taking place on Thursday, April 29, it’s time to look ahead the games and make some Europa League semi-final predictions.
Before we get to my predictions for the Europa League semi-finals, let’s take a look at the latest Europa League winner odds.
Latest 2021 Europa League Winner Odds
As the bookmakers’ odds suggest, all four teams left in the tournament stand a good chance of lifting the trophy.
Man Utd (2.00) is the obvious frontrunner, while Arsenal (3.75) is the second favorite. But Villarreal (5.00) and Roma (6.50) can upset the 2021 Europa League winner odds.
Remember – if you’re betting on the Europa League, make sure to use only the best online sports betting sites.
Predictions for the Europa League Semi-Finals
Can Roma Expose Man Utd’s Weaknesses?
The Red Devils weren’t quite good enough for the Champions League this season. PSG and RB Leipzig snatched the top two places in Group H, forcing Man Utd to drop down into the Europa League.
But since then, the English giant has shone on the European stage.
Not only have Solskjaer’s men achieved five shutouts across their six Europa League matches this year, but they have also scored ten goals in the process.
Having seen off Real Sociedad (4-0), AC Milan (2-1), and Granada (4-0) to reach the semi-finals, it is hardly surprising that United is the bookies’ favorite to go all the way.
Man Utd’s overreliance on Bruno Fernandes is a slight cause for concern. The Portuguese playmaker has carried the team through games this term, so Roma must aim to nullify his threat.
|BRUNO FERNANDES IN EUROPE (2020/21 SEASON)|
In fairness, Roma has claimed some notable scalps en route to the semi-finals.
After winning their group, the Italians crushed Braga (5-1) and Shakhtar Donetsk (5-1) in the first two knockout rounds, before overcoming Ajax (3-2) in the quarter-finals.
Veteran striker Edin Dzeko has bagged four goals and one assist in the Europa League this season, underlining his importance to the team.
However, the Giallorossi’s domestic form has been questionable throughout the campaign – and that is why I think Man Utd will advance from this tie.
While Roma has struggled for form this season, United has remained consistent, so I’m backing the Red Devils to qualify for the final.
Will Emery’s Villarreal Come Back to Haunt Arsenal?
Above all else, Emery knows exactly what it takes to reach the Europa League final.
The Spaniard led Sevilla to three straight triumphs between 2014 and 2016 – and he even managed to pocket a runner-up medal with Arsenal in 2019.
I’m sure the ex-Gunners boss would love nothing more than to get the better of his former club. Oh, and reaching a fifth Europa league final would be a nice bonus, too.
A damaging eight-game winless run between January and March saw the Yellow Submarine slide down the La Liga table, but Villarreal appears to have rediscovered some form at just the right time.
Having chalked up a whopping 26 goals and eight assists this season, including six goals and three assists in the Europa League, Gerard Moreno undoubtedly holds the key to Villarreal’s success.
Arsenal and Villarreal convincingly set up an Unai Emery reunion in the Europa League semi-finalsApril 15, 2021
Arsenal’s domestic form has been shoddy at best this season. But when it comes to the Europa League, the Gunners have looked like a completely different animal.
Mikel Arteta’s men netted 20 goals across six group-stage wins, albeit against some relatively easy opponents, before dispatching Portuguese giant Benfica in the first knockout round.
After knocking out Greek side Olympiacos, Arsenal clinched an impressive 5-1 aggregate victory over Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals, with a dominant 4-0 away win coming in the second leg.
In all honesty, it is difficult to predict how the Gunners will fare against Villarreal.
After all, their domestic performances have been unrecognizable from their European displays.
Given the unpredictable nature of Arteta’s Arsenal, I can see Emery masterminding a triumph over his old side.
Closing Thoughts on the Europa League Semi-Finals
As the season has progressed, Man Utd has improved. I wasn’t entirely sure how the Red Devils would fare this term, but I’m confident they will be able to get past Roma without any real problems.
Of course, the price for Solskjaer’s team to progress is nothing to write home about. But it feels like a safe bet.
The other semi-final could go either way, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Emery’s vast Europa League experience gets Villarreal over the line.
Emery’s men have won 11 of their 12 European games this season, scoring a massive 28 goals along the way (2.3 goals per game). They have also kept seven clean sheets in the process.
On the flip side, the Gunners have made light work of their Europa League opponents this term. But they have also won well under 50% of their EPL matches and have been far from convincing recently.
That concludes my Europa League semi-final predictions. If wagering on continental club tournaments is your thing, why not check out my Copa Libertadores betting preview for 2021?