Arsenal will be making the trip to Spain to face Villarreal on Thursday. What is their team news looking like ahead of their Europa League semi-final first leg?
The North Londoners will not find it easy against a team that is managed by former Gunners boss Unai Emery, who has an impeccable record in Europa League. It will be intriguing to see what the Spaniard has in store for the visitors. Mikel Arteta on the other hand, will want his players to be efficient in converting their chances.
There is a lot of good news as far as the availability of players is concerned. Speaking ahead of the game, the boss confirmed that all four of David Luiz, Kieran Tierney, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are in contention for Thursday.
Earlier, there was news that Luiz had returned to training. But the fact that the other three members could play will give the team a significant boost. It makes the visitors so much stronger and might be the factor that swings the tie in favour of the Gunners.
A lot of what the Emirates side get from the game will depend on their finishing. This is an area that has cost them a lot of matches this season. Villarreal have a solid defence and the North Londoners will have to be highly efficient in attack to create some goal-scoring opportunities.
Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe will have plenty of work to do in midfield. The duo along with Emile Smith-Rowe will need to get the attack going and for the role of the centre forward, there are a few different options to choose from. Whoever Arteta goes with, will have to provide the cutting edge.
Arsenal have a chance of ending the season with some silverware but there is a lot of work left to be done before we can think about that. To keep the hosts quiet, it will need the North Londoners to limit the influence of Dani Parejo. The Spaniard if allowed, can dictate the course of the game. With the personnel available, Arteta will be confident that his team can get the job done and return to England having gained the advantage.
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