At least we now know that the Europa League is our only viable route to next seasons Champions League and of course, the only chance to lift a trophy this season. We carry a 3-1 advantage into the second leg and are up against a team no better than Napoli, but certainly in a better frame of mind than what we are today.
Valencia will have to score at least twice and keep a clean sheet to progress, if we do score then Los Che will need to find the back of the net at least three times to take it to penalties and five times if we score twice and so on. The fact that Valencia are hot favourites to win the game make it still 50/50 as to whether Arsenal go through. We beat Napoli away in the last round and at around 2/1 we could be good value again tomorrow, but I would use the risk-free bet from a matchbook sign up bonus code if I was going to have a bet on it. One thing is sure our form in the Europa League is far superior to our League form, so we should be quietly confident.
So, the advantage is clearly with us and we do need to send out a team that can both defend that advantage and at the same time be potent up front.
I expect Unai Emery will start with a 3-4-3 formation and will stick with Petr Cech in goal. I would be surprised if he went with Bernd Leno at this stage.
The defence will be tricky, it has been a huge disappointment this season but experience will be important and so a back three of Sokratis, Koscielny and Monreal looks the most likely.
In midfield he will want two battlers and so Lucas Torreira and I hate to say it, Granit Xhaka will be in the centre and I must add I use the word battlers with reservations.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Saed Kolasinac on the right and left of the midfield will make up the middle four.
In front of the midfield, I would not be surprised if Emery goes with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, not who I would pick but I just cannot see the boss going with Mesut Ozil or Alex Iwobi in that role.
And up front, I do expect him to play both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Possible line up
I will say right now that I would not personally go with this team, certainly not Xhaka and Mkhitaryan but I am not the manager and this is the team I reckon that Emery will go with.
That said, I do think we will do enough to progress to the final but for the first time in a very long time, I am not confident of us winning the actual game.
Valencia 2-1 Arsenal.