Mikel Arteta & co. will welcome La-Liga side Villarreal to Emirates stadium this evening in the second-leg of their Uefa Europa League semi-final.
The Gunners head into the game aiming of progress to the final of the Uefa Europa League for the first time since 2019 and book a date with either Manchester United or AS Roma.
Arsenal, who back to winning ways by defeating Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League, know that a goal without concedes this evening would be enough to get the job done, after the first-leg ended 2-1 in Spain last week.
Gabriel 😂 pic.twitter.com/zqIylUhaxM— Arsenal FC News (@ArsenalFC_fl) May 5, 2021
Nicolas Pepe massive away-goal at Estadio de la Cerámica stadium last week, ensured Arsenal enter tonight’s clash in the driving seat, as Mikel Arteta’s men hope of overturn a 2-1 deficit against the La-Liga side.
And ahead of second-leg tie with Yellow Submarine, who seeing of Dinamo Zagreb in quarters-finals stage of the competitions, Mikel Arteta & co. are received a major boost concerning the fitness of David Luiz, Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney.
Even in the rain Kieran Tierney stands out 😂 pic.twitter.com/j3Gfmcgksk— Arsenal FC News (@ArsenalFC_fl) May 5, 2021
Lacazette, 29, sustained a hamstring injury against Fulham last month while Kieran Tierney, who establish himself as one of the pivotal player in Gunners shirt, missed Arsenal’s last six games with a knee injury.
However, both are return to full training with rest of Mikel Arteta’s squad as they prepared for their Uefa Europa League semi-final second-leg tie against Villarreal at Emirates stadium.
Luiz, on the other hand, limped off shortly after half-time during Arsenal’s win at Newcastle on Sunday and it looked like his season might be over. However the Brazilian defender made shock return to training on Wednesday and there’s possiblity of involved in tonight tie against Villarreal.
Bukayo Saka, Thomas Partey, Emile Smith-Rowe, Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey, who are given a breather in Sunday’s victory over Newcastle United are expected to back to starting XI against Villarreal tonight.
Moving on to predicted starting lineup, Mikel Arteta is likely to make a lot of changes to the side that performed well last time out. So we can expect maximum of changes in the starting lineup as Gunners looking to get through to the final of the Uefa Europa League for the first time since 2019.
Despite Mat Ryan recorded his first clean sheet at weekend, Bernd Leno is likely to replace January signing in the goal, while Rob Holding could slot in at the heart of the central defensive unit alongside Pablo Mari.
The two wing-back positions are likely to see some rotation, with Calum Chambers likely to replace Hector Bellerin on the right wing-back spot while the fit-again Kieran Tierney should get the nod at left-back for this crucial match-up.
Thomas Partey, who given a breather against Newcastle, ought to line up in the centre of the park, trying to disrupt Villarreal’s rhythm. He will have support from Granit Xhaka, who could move into his natural midfield role now that Tierney is back fit and available.
With Martin Odegaard having failed to impress last time out, Emile Smith-Rowe becomes the obvious pick in the No. 10 role while Bukayo Saka, who has been Arsenal’s best creative threat this season, ought to line up on the right wing.
Nicolas Pepe, who scored the goal in the first-leg for the Gunners should return on the left, replacing Gabriel Martinelli, despite the Brazilian’s impressive display at the weekend. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ought to spearhead the attack for the hosts.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Leno; Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe; Aubameyang
Thursday 8.00pm GMT, BT Sport
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Referee: Slavko Vincic