Arsenal vs Villarreal: Visitors are in the driving seat

Arsenal vs Villarreal: Visitors are in the driving seat

Kick-off: 2000, 06/05/2021

Stadium: Emirates Stadium

TV: BT Sport

Villarreal are slight favourites to reach the Europa League final after beating Arsenal 2-1 at home and are tipped to advance after drawing in London.

Former Gunners boss Unai Emery returns to Emirates Stadium with a battle-hardened outfit packed full of experienced performers well equipped to cope with pressure.

They may have to weather a few storms here, but 23/10 for a second-leg stalemate is our initial Arsenal vs Villarreal prediction.

A Look At Arsenal’s Betting Odds

Arsenal looked in big trouble at Estadio de la Ceramica after Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol netted for Villarreal inside half an hour.

Things got even worse for the Gunners when Dani Ceballos was sent off in the second half, but Nicolas Pepe’s 73rd-minute penalty gave them a lifeline.

The Yellow Submarine were also reduced to 10 men when Etienne Capoue was dismissed late on but they held on to a slender advantage.

Bukayo Saka said: “I think the way we started was horrible. You can’t start a game like this and it’s no surprise we went 2-0 down.

“We didn’t create anything, we lost every duel, we were passive and it’s really frustrating to look back on it.

“But I am just happy that in the second half, we picked ourselves up and we got a good chance and we managed to score.”

Mikel Arteta opted to start without a recognised striker in Spain and would no doubt love to have Alexandre Lacazette back from injury and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on top form again.

The Gunners will have to adopt a positive approach here, so 29/10 for both teams to score in the first half this time takes the eye from the Arsenal vs Villarreal odds.

A Look At Villarreal’s Betting Odds

Villarreal dropped just two points during the group stage and have now won seven straight matches in the knockout rounds.

With RB Salzburg, Dynamo Kyiv and Dinamo Zagreb already sent packing, Emery’s men look on a mission to continue Spain’s great record in this competition.

The manager was left furious by the penalty decision which allowed Arsenal to get back into the tie, but declared: “We need to keep our hopes high.

“We deserved this victory. We will play there with the same plan, to control and show our personality.”

It would be dangerous for Villarreal to try and sit on their narrow lead, as a 1-0 defeat would see them crash out via the away goals rule.

Emery may target an early strike in London to address that situation and has the attacking firepower to hurt the Gunners in Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer.

We’re adding 23/10 for the visitors to open the scoring before half-time to our Arsenal vs Villarreal betting tips.

Additional stats

First-leg result:

VILLARREAL 2-1 ARSENAL – Manu Trigueros, Raul Albiol + Nicolas Pepe (pen)

Previous head-to-head: Arsenal 3-0 Villarreal, Villarreal 1-1 Arsenal, Villarreal 0-0 Arsenal, Arsenal 1-0 Villarreal

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