On May 6, Arsenal will welcome Villarreal to the Emirates Stadium for the second leg of their Europa League semi-finals. The Yellow Submarine will arrive in London boasting a 2-1 advantage from their first meeting. However, the Gunners scored an important away goal in Spain. Let’s see who has better chances to make it to the final.
The two teams have met each other five times on different occasions, with Arsenal winning twice, while Villarreal triumphed only once. The other two games ended in a draw.
The clubs first met in 2006 in the Champions League semi-finals. That match ended in a 1-0 home win for the Gunners. In a rematch which took place a week later, the two clubs departed peacefully with a scoreless draw. As a result, Arsenal progressed to the final on aggregate.
In 2009, having ended the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinals in a 1-1 draw, Arsenal managed to thrash Villarreal in the second leg (3-0). Again, the British club advanced to the next stage.
And finally 12 years later, the teams squared off in the first semi-final game of the current Europa League. Their fifth meeting ended in a 2-1 victory for Yellow Submarine.
Sitting in 10th place in the domestic league standings, Arsenal are 9 points away from the chance to perform in the European competitions next season. Consequently, their only hope to get there is to win the current Europa League. Not a bad motivation, isn’t it? Besides, Arteta’s future in the club will most likely depend on the outcome of their performance at the tournament.
The stats show that Arsenal were always victorious at their home ground against Villarreal. Will the Gunners continue this tradition on Thursday?
The Spanish club occupies 6th spot in the La Liga standings, which guarantees them a place in the Europa League next season, but only in case Villarreal keep their spot. And that is easier said than done because the closest chasers – Real Betis are literally breathing down their neck, being only 1 point behind.
As for the upcoming match, Emery’s side will need to score in order to defend their slim lead. Even one conceded goal will give Arsenal an advantage.
Considering H2H stats and Arsenal’s achievements at home, bookies tend to favour the British side. The odds on the Gunners are 1.87.
Villarreal are seen as the outsiders, given the odds of 4.34 on their victory. Even a draw looks more likely, 1 to 3.66.