Prediction and odds for the game: Villarreal (29/20) vs Arsenal (19/10)
We are backing the home win
When: Thursday, 29th April 2021, Kick-off 20:00
Where: Estadio de la Ceramica
On Thursday night, Villarreal and Arsenal go head-to-head at the Estadio de la Ceramica, in the Europa League semi-final first leg.
Unai Emery will be looking to get one over his old employers in this crucial European clash. The Yellow Submarine head into this game on the back of two straight defeats in La Liga against Alaves and Barcelona. The recent defeats have put their chances of playing in Europe next season in major doubt.
However, despite their recent poor league form, Villarreal have a stellar recent record in the Europa League, having won their last eight matches in European football’s secondary competition. A key to their recent good results in the competition has been their attacking threat, as the Yellow Submarine have scored at least two goals in six of their last seven European matches.
Forward pair Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer have been in good form in the competition, as both Spanish international have scored six goals in the Europa League.
All the Gunners eggs are now in the Europa League basket, with qualifying for European football from the Premier League for next season looking highly unlikely. The team from north London are now tenth place in the English top-flight table.
Arsenal’s form has been mixed of late, although a 1-0 home defeat against Everton last time out ended a four-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Mikel Arteta’s team have a mixed recent record in the Europa League, as they have won one, drawn one and lost one of their last three games in the competition. The Gunners games in the competition have relatively high-scoring this season, with over 2.5 goals scored in nine of their last 12 matches.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 12 away games in the Europa League, having won nine games in the process. The Gunners have been a potent attacking force on their travels in the competition, scoring at least two goals in five of their last six away matches.
The visitors have met Villarreal on four previous occasions and are unbeaten, having recorded two wins and two games finishing in draws. Three of the four meetings between the pair produced under 2.5 goals.
Neither team have had much consistency of late. However, Villarreal have been outstanding in the Europa League and we are backing the Yellow Submarine to beat the Gunners, who have been poor in recent games. The other bet we recommend is over 2.5 goals, as both teams have been relatively potent in the Europa League this season.
Verdict: We are backing the home win at odds of 29/20 and/or over 2.5 goals scored at evens. (All odds are taken from Bet365)
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Who will win this crucial Europa League semi-final first leg?