Arsenal go into their Europa League semifinal second leg against Villarreal down 2-1. The Gunners trailed the Yellow Submarine 2-0 at one point before starting a comeback. The Gunners ultimately fell but gave themselves a lifeline for the second leg. A goal on Thursday night will send Arsenal through to the next round with a mere 1-0 victory thanks to the away goal rule.

Villarreal followed up their 2-1 win at home against Arsenal in the Europa League semifinal first leg with a 1-0 weekend victory over Getafe. Unai Emery will visit the Emirates for the first time since being sacked by the Gunners. That same fate could ultimately occur to Arteta.

A report from TalkSport on Monday indicates Arteta will be given the chance to manage Arsenal to begin next season regardless of the team’s finish this term. It is believed Arteta will be given the first 10 games of the 2021-22 season to save his job. If Arsenal fail to win the Europa League – which they must overturn their 2-1 deficit on Thursday – then the club won’t play European football next season for the first time since 1995-96.

Villarreal are in a great position despite giving up an away goal to Arsenal, they lead the tie 2-1 and have the advantage of adding an away goal at the Emirates to kill it off. Conspiracy theorist will believe that the powers that be want a final featuring English sides Arsenal and Manchester United. Can Villarreal upset the apple cart to reach the Europa League Final?

Arsenal vs Villarreal Betting Odds

 

Like Thursday night’s opponent Villarreal, Arsenal claimed a victory at the weekend. Their 2-0 win against Newcastle United ended a three-game winless run. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played and scored at the weekend. He could be a difference-maker for Arsenal on Thursday night.

Bookies have Arsenal at odds of 10/11 to win at full-time. Going into the game, a 2-1 win for Arsenal would see the tie go into extra-time. Any other scoreline will see either Arsenal or Villarreal qualify for the final. Arsenal have not been very good at the Emirates this season posting a record of 10W-6D-9L in all competitions. They have outscored opponents at home 35-30.

While Arsenal can be praised for reaching the Europa League semifinals, they have only won three of their seven Europa League knockout matches. Emery will have his eyes on knockout out the Gunners. Arsenal failed to win two of their three Europa League knockout matches at the Emirates Stadium.

Villarreal go into the second leg at odds of 17/5 to win at full-time. The Yellow Submarine have been stingy on the road conceding just 22 goals in 28 away games. They have posted a record of 15W-9D-4L on their travels. Villarreal have won all seven of their Europa League knockout stage game under the tournament master, Emery, this season.

Arsenal vs Villarreal Team News

Arteta has three names on the Arsenal injury list going into the Europa League semifinal second leg. Centre-back David Luiz is once again ruled out for the Gunners. This time, he has a thigh injury which was suffered against Newcastle United at the weekend. Full-back Kieran Tierney will likely join Luiz on the sideline. Tierney is recovering from a knee injury.

Alexandre Lacazette is hopeful of returning to the squad. He is still a doubt to play due to a thigh injury, however. Arteta will also be without on-loan Real Madrid attacking midfielder Dani Ceballos. The midfielder received a red card in the 57th minute of the first leg.

Emery has just one player on the Villarreal injury list. On-loan Tottenham Hotspur defender Juan Foyth is ruled out of the game due to a hamstring injury. Emery must make do without defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue after he was sent off in the first leg. Villarreal got their two goals in the first leg from two unexpected players, Raul Albiol and Manu Trigueros.

Emery will hope strikers Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer make more of an impact in the final third. Arsenal dominated possession with 53% in the first leg but only tallied two shots on target compared to Villarreal’s six.

Arsenal vs Villarreal Prediction

Both teams to score goals: YES @ 8/11 - BET NOW

 

The first leg finished 2-1 with both sides getting on the scoresheet. At one point, it looked like Villarreal could win the game to nil. However, Nicolas Pepe’s late penalty gave the Gunners a share of the spoils after carving out little in the final third. Arsenal have everything to do on Thursday night at home. Villarreal will be out to kill off the tie.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score anytime @ 5/4 - BET NOW

 

If Arsenal are going to overturn their 2-1 deficit against Villarreal, they are going to need Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to step up and deliver. Aubameyang has 15 goals in 35 matches in all competitions this season with three of those coming in seven Europa League matches. Aubameyang got the big contract in the offseason. Now, he needs to show the money was well spent.

Over 2.5 goals scored @ 4/5 - BET NOW

 

The teams combined for over 2.5 goals in the semifinal first leg and could do it once more in the second leg. Arsenal go into the game knowing they must score. If the Gunners get a goal, they will wrestle the advantage away from Villarreal. An Arsenal goal will force Villarreal to go out and score. The only scoreline that will take us to extra-time is 2-1.

Four of Arsenal’s seven Europa League knockout matches finished with over 2.5 goals scored. Three of Villarreal’s seven Europa League matches in the knockout stage ended with over 2.5 goals tallied. Villarreal have a stingy defence and Arsenal must find a way through it. They struggled in the first leg to break down the Yellow Submarine needing a penalty to score a goal.

Villarreal shouldn’t be counted out from winning the second leg and qualifying for the final against Manchester United or Roma.

Arsenal vs Villarreal Tips

Here are our Arsenal vs Villarreal tips for Thursday's Europa League match at the Emirates Stadium.

1. Both teams to score goals: YES @ 8/11

2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score anytime @ 5/4

3. Over 2.5 goals scored @ 4/5