Michael Owen has tipped Villarreal to clinch a first-leg advantage over Arsenal when the two sides lock horns in the Europa League this evening.
The Gunners will already be in Spain preparing to take on the Yellow Submarine, with a lot of the focus on former manager Unai Emery.
The Spanish coach was sacked in December 2019, and eventually replaced by Arteta, and the comparisons carry on to this day.
Michael Owen is tipping Arsenal to lose 2-1 this evening however, giving Emery the edge in the opening leg, but he does admit that he expects this tie to be open.
“Despite a rather patchy domestic record, Villarreal have been excellent in this year’s Europa League,” Owen told BetVictor(via SportReview).
“The Yellow Submarine have failed to win just one of their 12 matches and won all six of their games played at Estadio de la Ceramica.
“It goes without saying that the tie carries some extra spice with Unai Emery in the home dugout. The Europa League veteran would love nothing more than to make it to the final at the expense of his former side.
“For Arsenal, they have won just two of their last eight competitive outings, however, the Gunners’ are unbeaten in seven on the road.
“I think this could be one of the more open semi-finals in Europe this week, but given the form of the home side, I reckon it will be the Yellow Submarine who go into the second leg with the advantage.
“It’s 2-1 Villarreal for me.”
I don’t believe a 2-1 deficit would be the end of the world to bring back the Emirates, but trailing in any shape or form is never ideal.
The away goal could well prove vital as it has in many similar fixtures over the years, and I think I would feel positive if we was to score whilst going down by one goal.
Would you feel confident should we suffer a 2-1 loss this evening?