Villarreal v Arsenal Confirmed Team News & Predicted XI to take on Emery

Arsenal will be weary of the threat posed by Unai Emery’s Villarreal side this evening, but their efforts could well be boosted by some key players returning ahead of tonight’s Europa League semi-final.

Manager Mikel Arteta admitted that all of his recently-abcent players are in contention to play this evening, although the condition of some of those will of course need to be monitored.

David Luiz returned to full training earlier in the week, and he appears to be the most likely to make the starting line-up after a small procedure on his knee earlier in the month.

Kieran Tierney was also struggling with his own knee issue, and while the fitness team will be working overtime to try and prepare him for today’s clash, I feel like we may be pushed for time.

Both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also missed our last match against Everton, and fingers crossed at least one of these is ready to play from kick-off this evening, and I can’t help but believe the former will.

The only player who definitely will not be playing is Alex Runarsson, who is no longer registered for our Europa League squad since he was replaced by Mat Ryan in January.

Predicted Arsenal XI:

Chambers Luiz Gabriel Xhaka
Partey Elneny
Saka Odegaard Smith Rowe

I’m honestly uncertain on who will get the nod to start in goal today, but I think my selection is more who I would want, as opposed to who Arteta will choose unfortunately.

While we will all be keeping our fingers crossed that Tierney has made a miraculous recovery, I don’t want to see him fall injured again, and him being available for the second-leg could be more important in the long run.

I’m also not 100% sure Odegaard is back fully fit, but if he is, and Aubameyang or Laca doesn’t make it, I’d be surprised if the young trio wasn’t to start in behind the striker. Nicolas Pepe should also be in contention, but I think I prefer him to make an impact off the bench personally.

How do you expect Arsenal to line-up today? Am I alone in thinking/hoping Ryan gets the nod between the sticks?


Tags Europa League Villarreal


  1. Luiz as been a massive loss for us hope he starts .
    Hope I’m wrong but I suspect that Martinelli will be dropped again ,probably needs another 12 months to get upto fitness 😂

  2. Not a bad starting 11 but “Elneny” 🙄…I’d rather have Ceballos in there…and I hope he doesn’t play Leno he’s been shocking lately and wasn’t Gabriel supposed to be our own Van Dyk or were we fooled again…

    Chambers,Luis, Holding,Soares/Chaka
    Partey, Ceballos/Chala
    Saka,Odegaard,Smith Rowe

    1. If you think any CB we bought or we’d be buying will be of Van Dijk callibre then you are dreaming.. Van Dijk is rare and its very unlikely you’ll see a CB of his class any time soon.

      1. And Arsenal scouted Van Djik at Celtic, before he went to Southampton; however Arsenal Wenger thought him too laid back and not hard working enough.

        1. Why not try ESR with Partey in double Pivot
          And Saka on right wing, Odegaard as number 10 and Pépé or Martinelli on left…
          Lacazzett up front

          1. Trying a new combination in a Semi? I don’t think so. I would if it was a dead rubber match

          2. Why on earth should he try an attacking player like ESR at the pivot?

            I think his qualities are suitable for one of the three behind the striker.

  3. My opinion is that, I don’t want Arsenal to force to use any injuries players. Because is very dangerous and what is most important is the second leg. We need to patients with those players and believe in what have right now. I think with seriousness we can win the game.

    1. Totally agree, MA should not rush the injured players in, I believe we can win only if the rest of the players played like in the last EL game.

  4. If you think any CB we bought or we’d be buying will be of Van Dijk callibre then you are dreaming.. Van Dijk is rare and its very unlikely you’ll see a CB of his class any time soon.

  5. Hope it’s not that line … wouldn’t worry Villarreal … lacks pace and creativity and vulnerable at the back … ceballos or ostegaard should start Along with mari and Cedric … and personally would like to see martinelli .. he’s fluffed some chances but so has lacazette … he puts defenses on notice … would like to see a 442 arrangement
    Chambers holding mari cedric
    Saka ceballos/ ostegaard partey esr/martinelli
    Pepe lacazette

  6. My Squad

    Chambers Luis D Gabriel Soares
    Partey Xhaka
    Saka Smith Rowe Martinelli
    Lacca / Balogun

    Proud with this !!!!!!!

  7. My Squad

    Chambers Luis Gabriel Soares
    Partey Xhaka
    Saka Smith Rowe Martinelli/ Nelson

  8. My squad

    Chambers …holding….Mari ..xhaka
    …….saka……….. Pepe……. Martinelli…….

    Surprise emery with Pepe as false nine, or better still balogun as CF.. Quick Counter attacking football With high tempo pressing to force errors just like barca did last weekend..

    Lacazette, aubameyang and Odegaard can be super subs.

    We can’t sit back cuz chukwueze would be a handful for our defenders…

    Xhaka shud play LB so as to sit back and defend affording the Villarreal wingers limited space to counter..

  9. If Xhaka plays at left back Chukwueze will run riot against him.
    We need strong full backs because of their tricky wingers and also be on the front foot with Martinelli playing through the middle.

    1. Agree. If Tierney isn’t fit than I think Saka needs to be at LB. All of the other options don’t work (although I remain confused as to why Gabriel hasn’t been given a shot)

      Bottom line – we have lots of options for RW (Pepe, ESR, Willian) and no good ones at LB apart from Saka.

  10. My preferred line up would be


    Chambers. Luiz. Mari. Xhaka

    Partey. ESR

    Saka. Odegaard Pépé/ Gabi

    Lacazzett/ Gabi

  11. the names are Moreno and Chukwueze….those are the key to Villarreal attack, especially the later who have been scoring lately…very tricky winger

  12. I think we going out of competition tonight, prediction is 2-0 to Villareal.

    Then Arteta will play for a draw in 2nd leg thinking that a draw is a trophy.

  13. Only a fool would prefer a recent Brighton reserve keeper to a highly experienced one inLENO, EVEN THOUGH HE MADE A RECENT HOWLER.

    All top keepers make errors now and again but the best ones make world class saves too , as LENO DOES AND OFTEN. NO COMPARISON BETWEN RESERVE RYAN AND FIRST CHOICE LENO.

    1. Only a fool we trust a country 3rd choice goal keeper who has been consistently top of errors leading to goal seasons after season over a country’s first choice goal keeper who is yet to put a foot wrong

      1. Pepe Alternatively a REAL dyed in the wool fool would prefer a recent Brighton reserve who has never been in contention for his country to a well recognised international who is onlyonly kept out of theGERMAN TEAM BY WORLD CLASS Manuel Neuer,widely recognised as an elite keeper at world level.
        Reserve Ryan on the other hand, far from being voted Arsenal player of the yearlike LENO and second in tha tpoll only last season and who has played far more first team games than RyanS measly TWO, (where whoopee, he has yet to make a howler) has not been considered good enough to have a regular place to showcase any howlers that all keepers occasionally make, given the run in a team Try a dunces cap for size- I am sure it will fit you.

        1. Yes the one thing world class Leno has been consistent with is making howlers and once in a blue moon world class saves which makes him very ordinary infect extra ordinary
          He was in contention for player of the season because doesn’t mean he was spectacular it was as a result of been was simply because everyone was abysmal since the teams quality has improved your world class players position has been very questionable infact all he he gets now is favouritism from his manager nothing more. He is so bad that brightens outcast Ryan is been considered ahead of this world class howler who don’t even understand the meaning of clean sheet this world class goal keeper is why you seat comfortably in midtable

  14. Team i’d like to see
    Cedric holding mari kt(if fit, worth risking for SF)
    Party xhaka
    Saka odegaard pepe
    Gabi m

  15. I will go with,
    Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tieney
    Partey, Shaka
    Pepe, Smith Rowe, Saka

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