Arsenal v Villarreal Confirmed Team News & Predicted XI for a final place

Arsenal have the task of overturning a 2-1 deficit to Villarreal reach the Europa League final, and could well have a full squad of options available.

The only players who are definitely missing are Alex Runarsson, having been replaced in our Europa League quota by January signing Mat Ryan, and Dani Ceballos(suspended).

David Luiz made his return to action after over a month out on Sunday, but failed to make it through the full 90 minutes before picking up a new injury, but Arteta claimed in his press-conference(via that he could well feature.

Kieran Tierney and Alexandre Lacazette were doubts for the big match however, but with both returning to full training yesterday with the rest of the squad, there is hope that both could well feature to some extent.

Predicted Arsenal XI:

Chambers Holding Gabriel Tierney
Partey Xhaka
Saka Odegaard Smith Rowe

While Laca and Tierney are likely at similar points in their recovery, I imagine that the Scot’s participation would be more crucial to our bid to reach the final, which is why I’ve included him.

That front four could have been named even with Lacazette back to 100%, which is another reason why this could well be the tam that starts.

Tierney’s return would also allow Xhaka to return to his more comfortable role in midfield.

Nicolas Pepe also deserves a mention, having returned to form in recent weeks, and I would be shocked if he didn’t come off the bench assuming he does miss out on the starting line-up.

Who do you believe should be starting this evening? Would the above XI be strong enough to reach the final?


Tags Europa League Villarreal


  1. odegaard should be benched..

    Smith Rowe, Pepe should start at their best positions, then martinelli, laca, Odegaard can come in second half, we might even get to extra time who knows..

    my preferred line up

    Chambers Holding Mari xhaka
    El neny. Partey
    … …… Smith rowe. ……..
    Saka.. …. …Aubameyang… …pepe

    Tierney might not b 100% to face chukwueze, Xhaka can man mark well
    .his sole focus should be marking chukwueze out of the match…

    Then Pepe and saka can commit more villareal players to fouls and subsequent yellow cards to nullify their pressing…

    1. It’s odd that I seem to be the only person who noticed how villareal hurt us last time around. In as much as we blame Ceballos for what he did, He was exposed. When did it become normal for a fullback to run at a central midfielder?

      Three instances :
      1. The first goal, Foyth runs at Ceballos, forces him narrow to isolate Xhaka with Chukwueze , slides the ball out to Chukwueze, then instantly it’s 3 v 2 there because Foyth, Chukwueze and a central midfielder are in the same area.

      2. In the second half, again Foyth breaks towards Ceballos, Mari doesn’t know whether to come or go, Xhaka definetly can’t come lest Chukwueze is played in behind him, it ends up in a one on one against Leno and we get lucky

      3. Foyth breaks towards Ceballos who this time tries to be cautious and commit to the tackle. mistimes and gets yellow.

      One recurring theme .A fullback running at a CM. Most fullbacks are obviously going to be faster than CMs and that’s why ordinarily, That wouldn’t happen. What then was the problem?

      That fullback was Pepe’s man.

      1. Nice observation Joe..

        I would have preferred martinelli in place of Pepe to press up-top ( but Arteta wouldn’t leave Pepe out due his recent form in Europa) , so option b is playing ESR in the middle, the lad is a hard worker and would compliment Pepe.. As seen in the slavia game

    2. my preferred line up
      cedric gabriel mari tierney

      xhaka partey
      pepe smith rowe martinelli


      1. Good lineup. But I prefer chambers in place of Cedric and holding in place of Mari

  2. Fingers crossed 🤞 that MA starts the right players and subs properly

    COYG 💕

  3. My preferred team would look like this:

    Chambers Holding Mari Tierney
    Partey Elneny
    Saka Smith Rowe Aubameyang

    Odegaard & Pepe off the bench early if needed. Partey can be the supply from deeper midfield. Xhaka on bench and Elneny in as Villarreal are quite a mobile team and moved us around a lot.

  4. i think Chambers must wait for Cedric cause we don’t want any mistake this time

  5. IF tierneyplays then Pepe can play passing the ball as necessary, hindering their fullbacks attacking our midfield.

  6. I’d love to see martinelli on the pitch today but it’d be nearly impossible to bench Saka and pepe atm. So maybe a second half appearances when Villarreal start to tire?

    Pepe smith-rowe Saka
    Xhaka partey
    cedric Gabriel holding bellerin

    Martinelli, Laca and odegaard as subs in the 2nd half depending on the score and atmosphere of the game.
    Hopefully no Willian or strange tactics tonight

  7. In side of mine I prefer this line up Leno,Belerin,Tiney, Gabriel,Mari, Party,,, martnel Xhaka, Smith lacazete,Obameyaug.

    1. Cedric chambers Gabriel saka mid party Smith ordegard front martinelli auba thats a very attacking team and fast

    2. It seems strange but I would have Elneny instead of Partey who I think has been poor since his arrival With the need to score I would be tempted to play Elneny Xhaka Smith-Rowe Saka and Pepe with Aubeyang up front only because of Lacazette recent injury Arteta should have Balogun on bench with Marinelli in preferance to Nketiah At the back Bellerin Holding Chambers as a centre back and Tierney Leno in goal but we need a new keeper for next season as Leno not good enough in a team challenging for top honours Goalkeeping has been a problem at Arsenal as last top notch keeper we had was Jens Lehmann Cech was a flop and the likes of Szczesny were just not good enough either

  8. I dont know why everyone wants Pepe on the Bench,but without going to google i think he is our top scorer in Europa League.For the front 3 would be Pepe,Aaba,Saka with ESR behind them with Xhaka and Partey.No Xhaka on left back,if Tierney cant make team then Cedric

  9. Ofcourse for my own opinion lets pepe smith martinelle and auba start the 1st half after laca odegard come to the 2nd half

  10. this is a game for risk takers not going AUBA who is only when the team perform well so I’ll replace AUBA with lacca and chambers with Cedric or preferably bellerin

  11. Let Aterta play his best squad, whether 100% fit or not because if we should loose this match, we have nothing to play for again for this season, thank you.

  12. All I wanna see is Leno on the bench 😉 and yes @Sims no 🙅 Willian nor crazy tactics/subs


    1. I think we live or die with Leno as far as Arteta is concerned. Will be shocked if there is a change…

  13. I would have Smith Rowe in Odegard’s spot and put Pepe or Martinelli on the wing.

    Not sure what to do with rfb. I have no idea why but I have a feeling that Bellerin has a good game in him…

  14. Ryan
    Bellerin Holding Gabriel Tierney
    Partey Xhaka
    Saka Smith-Rowe Martinelli

  15. Leno,
    berillin. ,holding. ,Mari, saka
    Party. Xhaka
    Pepe ESR. Martinelli

    This is what I call..kill them all villa real players because apart from berillin..the wings will be deadly to contain

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