The stress is on Mikel Arteta to overthrow Arsenal’s 2-1 deficit towards Villarreal and ebook a spot within the Europa League remaining – the place they might greater than seemingly face previous rivals Manchester United.
The Gunners had been down two targets in half an hour in Spain final week, however the most important concern for an Arsenal persuasion was that till they had been awarded a spot-kick 17 minutes from time, they by no means actually regarded to make the decisive away purpose.
Bukayo Saka was fortunate to be awarded the penalty, however when referee Artur Dias pointed to the spot, Nicolas Pepe made no mistake with the purpose and gave Arsenal a lifeline that went into the second stage.
Given the membership’s disappointing league place, Arteta has confronted criticism from components of the Gunners’ devoted and elimination on Thursday can be the final nail in his coffin from these corners. Here’s a 90 min preview of this vital semifinal second stage.
Arsenal towards Villarreal meet below the sunshine at Emirates Stadium on Thursday night time Michael Regan / Getty Pictures
What time is the kick-off? Thursday 6 Could 2021 – 20:00 (BST)The place is the sport performed? Emirates Stadium, LondonThe way to watch TV? BT SportBT Sport (UK)Choose: Slavko VincicWHERE: Bastian Dankert
Aubameyang was on the right track for the Gunners this weekend | Pool / Getty Pictures
Arsenal will likely be with out the suspended Dani Ceballos after he was despatched off in the primary spherical. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had 78 minutes below his belt and a purpose this weekend and will begin on Thursday. David Luiz has been dominated out after struggling a muscle harm at St James’ Park on Sunday. Kieran Tierney and Alexandre Lacazette each push to return to the squad, however this sport might come too quickly for the pair.
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Etienne Capoue is suspended within the second leg between Arsenal and Villarreal | MB Media / Getty Pictures
Unai Emery’s aspect will likely be with out Etienne Capoue who was additionally despatched off in the primary stage, and due to this fact former Arsenal man Francis Coquelin will in all probability enter the beginning eleven to interchange him. Spurs loanee Juan Foyth limped off the injured 20 minutes from final week and can seemingly not be within the second spherical.
Arsenal: Leno; Chambers, Holding, Mari, Xhaka; Partey, Elneny; Saka, Odegaard, Pepe; Aubameyang
Villarreal: Rulli; Martinez, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Chukwueze, Coquelin, Parejo, Trigueros; Moreno, Alcacer
Nicolas Pepe’s purpose gave Arsenal a lifeline earlier than the second stage on Thursday | David Ramos / Getty Pictures
In fact, the Gunners cannot play as badly as they did at La Ceramica final week. The Premier League garments can rely themselves extraordinarily comfortable to have scored an away purpose, however after doing so, they’ve a fantastic likelihood to maneuver on.
Emery’s choice to interchange Paco Alcacer and exchange him with Francis Coquelin at halftime in the primary leg was typical of him. It gave Arsenal the higher hand and allowed them to battle again to a tie that in reality must have been made and dusted.
With Aubameyang again on the sidelines, Arsenal have a strong purpose risk – one thing they clearly missed final time and as such it’s extra seemingly that they’ll discover the online. However Arteta’s males have to be affected person, as a result of in the event that they are to magnify and admit an away purpose, it may very well be a protracted night time within the Emirates.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Villarreal