Villarreal v Arsenal Build-up & Predicted Score for EL first-leg

Arsenal are in Spain as they put in their final preparations for tonight’s Europa League semi-final clash with Villarreal.

A lot of the focus of tonight’s match has been on the managers, with Mikel Arteta having been chosen as the man to replace Unai Emery in North London just under 18 months ago.

The fans grew frustrated with the way things were being handled, and Unai was claimed to have lost the dressing room, with the Express, going as far as to say he lost hope in his players, which ultimately cost him his job.

No matter your thoughts on the managers, today’s result will ultimately come down to the players that perform on the pitch, although they will have been prepped for the clash by their managers of course.

Neither team is coming into this clash on the back of a win. As matter of fact, they both come into this game on the back of a loss, or in the Spanish side’s case, two straight losses.

In fact, neither side has been at their most consistent this season, but that hasn’t stopped them from performing in this competition.

This has all the makings of an open encounter, in which both sides will fancy their chances. Emery’s backers will point to his European experience, having led Arsenal to the final of the competition, as well as winning each of the 2013-14, 2014-15 & 2015-16 editions with Seville.

All of this will count for nothing when the teams set foot on the pitch however, and predicting which way this fixture will go is extremely difficult.

I have plenty of moments when my head tells me one thing, and my heart another, but I don’t feel confused in that way at present.

I feel like Arteta will set his team up to keep things tight this evening, in order to stop Emery’s side earning an advantage to take into the second-leg, although I strongly hope that I’m wrong.

I think if the manager can overlook the occasion and task the team play their game, we could take a win back to the Emirates, but my feeling is that this will be a cagey encounter.

I’m going with a 1-1 scoreline, in a match where Arsenal are tasked not to press the occasion.

How do you see this match playing out?


Tags Europa League Villarreal Villarreal v Arsenal


  1. Prematch interview with Unai Emery quite good. Emery played a straight bat to the English media questions, answering in Spanish, with an interpreter translating.
    He didn’t say anything bad about Arsenal or Arteta and gave background to his good relationship. Class.

    1. Just watched the interview and it is really good. Good to know he gave Arteta such support after he left and that personal call could it have been about players power?

      Can’t believe he told us to trust the process 🤣🤣

  2. We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot again, surely!!! For this reason alone, the sofa is out and I will watch from behind it!! COYG

  3. Oh sue. I love your comments. I am skeptical about this match.

    1 -1 will not be a bad result with the away goal rule.

    1. Leno; Chambers, Holding, Mari, Xhaka; Partey, Ceballos; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Pepe

      Bench: Ryan, Okonkwo, Bellerin, Gabriel, Willian, Aubameyang, Cedric, Luiz, Nelson, Elneny, Nketiah, Martinelli

      Where’s Laca??

  4. Just depends on our team selection. We need to unleash Martinelli at centre forward with Saka and Pepé either side of him and go at them. If they score against us, so what as long as we score more!

  5. my hope is that As arsenal performing better in a way therefore my prediction was Arsenal to scored t
    wice while villlareal to score one goal.

  6. Kindly let’s go and shine
    I direct this message to auba,lava, martineli pepe .saka odegard , xhaka .

  7. Whatever happened to Emery at Arsenal, Arteta has nothing to do with it so I am with Arteta tonight. Emery will be looking to end the tie in Spain so Arteta has to apply his A game.

    Here is to hoping we have good results because Roma are for the taking in the final.

  8. Arsenal (4231): Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Mari,
    Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Smith Rowe,
    Aubameyang, Lacazette
    1-3 score

  9. I’ve not had a hard time predicting the outcome of a Arsenal game in a while as this one. This is so because, besides being an Arsenal fan, looking at the game from the perspective of Villareal, they need to qualify for the final just as same reason as the Gunners. I feel the winner will be judged by the team that most feel the need and importance of winning the competition.

  10. Pepe.

    Smith-Rowe. Odegaard. Saka.

    Ceballos. Partey.

    Xhaka. Mari. Holding. Chambers.


    Pepe leads the line. Let us hope he gives us at least one goal

  11. My predicted line-ups and analysis on why they should start.

    Leno – Irrespective of the error against Everton, he’s still our best bet atm.

    Chambers – Bellerin’s game has really declined, Chambers has been fantastic lately and would function better at the RB.

    Holding – Decent enough and best bet for that position.

    Mari – the Villareal young winger (Chukwezer) and Moreno will be hard nuts to crack, only a calm and calculative CB would match them, this is why Mari shld start ahead of Gabbi (dsnt mean he’s not fantastic aswelll

    Xhaka – Tierney may nt be fit enough having started training a day or two. I think Xhaka will do great if he avoids overlapping, otherwise, the Vreal young winger will punish him with his speed.

    Party – He’s indispossable

    Ceballos – Had a run of games alongside Partey in recent games and he wasn’t has bad as expected besides, there wouldn’t be a better alternative to what we have available for that position except Xhaka is available to play there

    Odegard – He has been greatly missed in past games. He has had enough time to train to get in shape for this game and I believe this is just the right time for him to do what he’s good at.

    ESR – This position has the most available options at our disposal however, ESR ahead of Auba (just got back to training, Willian below the pecking order, ESR will create more open space for Odegard, they are big threats to to opponent when they play together. Unleashing Pepe for that position later-on in the game joker

    Saka – Indisspossable

    Martinelli – I bet this guy will be the icing on the cake to this selections. With his mobility and positioning, he will get all the necessary assistance free flow play (that will lead to scoring positions) from the likes of Odegard, Saka and ESR.

    Unleashing Auba, Laca (if fit), Pepe, Elneny for Ceballos (if we are playing from a leading position) in the later stage of the game will be key to scoring more goals or holding the game right till the end with their respective experiences.

    These analysis are only based on my personal observations on recent performances and abilities of the players.

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