Arsenal vs. Villarreal – Europa League, May 6, 2021
Villarreal holds a 2-1 advantage over Arsenal as the two sides prepare for the second leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final on Thursday, May 6.
Following a chaotic first leg in Spain, the Gunners will be confident of turning the tie around on home soil. Having said that, former Arsenal manager Unai Emery will be desperate to dump his old club out of the competition.
If you’re here for my Arsenal vs. Villarreal prediction – keep reading! As well as looking at the odds and analyzing team teams, I share my betting pick at the end of this preview.
Arsenal vs. Villarreal Odds (Second Leg)
I’m not going to lie to you; I was shocked when I first saw the Arsenal vs. Villarreal odds for the second leg.
The bookmakers view the Gunners as clear favorites to win on Thursday, but I’m not so sure. The EPL side has been far from convincing this season and struggled to deal with Villarreal for large spells of the first leg.
I’m sure that Emery’s men will be more than happy to carry the underdog tag into the second leg, as all the pressure is on Arsenal to succeed.
Arsenal vs. Villarreal Second Leg Preview
When Mikel Arteta’s men found themselves 2-0 down inside 30 minutes last week, they must have thought their Europa League dream was over.
After all, Arsenal failed to compete with Villarreal during the opening stages of the first leg, while the Yellow Submarine produced multiple goalscoring opportunities.
The Gunners’ task became even tougher when Dani Ceballos was sent off midway through the second half. However, Nicolas Pepe’s 73rd-minute penalty handed Arsenal a crucial away goal before Etienne Capoue was shown a red card.
Funnily enough, the first leg summed up Arsenal’s season perfectly.
The Gunners claimed an easy 2-0 win over Newcastle last time out, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netting his first goal since recovering from malaria. Having only managed to win one of their five Premier League games before that, Sunday’s victory felt like a big one.
Meanwhile, Villarreal returned to winning ways by securing a narrow 1-0 victory over Getafe at the weekend. The Spaniards had lost three of their four La Liga games before Sunday’s clash, but they have now won five of their previous eight.
Goals from Mau Trigueros and Raul Albiol saw the Yellow Submarine race into a 2-0 lead in the first leg, but despite racking up six shots on target, their attacking teammates could not extend the advantage.
Still, Gerard Moreno has bagged a phenomenal 26 goals and nine assists in all competitions this term, so he could easily have a big say in the outcome of the second leg.
After clinching 12 wins and one draw, Villarreal’s Europa League record is almost perfect this season. Better still, the Spanish side has achieved seven shutouts along the way. If Emery’s men keep another clean sheet on Thursday, they will advance to the final.
Prediction and Pick for Arsenal vs. Villarreal
Villarreal to Win4.25
Granted, Arsenal showed great spirit to claw a goal back and prevent Villarreal from scoring more last week. But at the end of the day, I haven’t seen enough quality from the Gunners this season.
Having taken everything into account, I’m going with the away win for my Arsenal vs. Villarreal second leg prediction. Emery knows exactly what it takes to reach the Europa League final, so I’m backing him to get the better of his former club.