This soccer betting preview is provided for free and is not a part of our premium membership. For premium bets, subscribe to our betting plan for only 50€ per month and start betting with us on soccer, tennis, golf, and more.
Arsenal vs Villarreal
When: Thursday, May 6 – 20:000 GMT
Where: Emirates Stadium in London, England
Weather: Clear, 11°C
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (SLO)
Villarreal travel to England with a 2-1 lead from the first leg of the Europa League semi-final. It’s now up to Arsenal to bounce back and win the game. Thanks to the away goal rule, the Gunners only need a 1-0 to book the ticket for the finals.
However, if Villarreal manage to score a goal, Arsenal’s job will get much tougher. And if the Spanish team scores two, Arsenal would need another four!
Not allowing (too many) goals is going to be one of Arsenal’s main goals tonight. The problem with that plan is that Villarreal have been terrific in the final third. We’ve seen them scoring at least a goal in the past 14 games in all competitions.
On the bright side for Arsenal, some of their key men are making a comeback tonight after being sidelined due to injuries.
Arsenal Going for a Big Win
The Gunners are currently in the #9 place in the English Premier League. They’re seven points off from the closest spot that leads to the Europa League next season. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible for them to bridge that point gap as there are only four rounds left to be played.
What this means is that Arsenal’s only chance of keeping their spot in the European competition next term is to win the Europa League. The first step on that road is knocking out Villarreal which starts by winning tonight’s game.
Arsenal lost the first leg mainly because they played with 10 men on the pitch for more than half an hour – Dani Ceballos got a red card in 57′ when Villarreal were 2-0 up.
Despite being one man down, the Gunners managed to get a goal. However, they weren’t able to equalize, not even after Etienne Capoue got sent off for Villarreal in 80′.
Nevertheless, Arsenal played well and showed that they can be good when they’re motivated. That’s something that’s probably giving them a lot of confidence ahead of tonight’s match.
Another thing that’s going to boost Arsenal’s confidence is the fact that several important players are returning from injuries, namely, Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, Emile Smith-Rowe, and Calum Chambers.
Kieran Tierney should also be fit for the game and the same could be the case with Rob Holding.
Villarreal Hoping to Score Goal(s) Tonight
Although they have a 2-1 lead, keeping it that way is going to be very hard for Villarreal tonight. Everyone’s expecting Arsenal to go all-in and Villarreal’s defence doesn’t seem capable of stopping the in-form Gunners.
Instead of protecting their net with all they got, Villarreal might want to think outside the box. By scoring a goal, they would make the job for Arsenal much harder. Furthermore, scoring two would all but guarantee them a spot in the finals of the Europa League.
The good news is that Villarreal have been fantastic in the offense, with players like Gerard Moreno, Carlos Bacca, and Paco Alcacer showing good form. The issue is that they will miss a couple of important players in the middle of the pitch, which could make it harder for their attackers to create chances.
Capoue is out due to the red card he picked in the previous clash with Arsenal. Further, Vincente Iborra is injured. On top of that, they will also be without defender Juan Foyth.
Arsenal vs Villarreal Betting Picks
Villarreal are very dangerous in the attack, but Arsenal have proved so many times this season that they can play well when properly motivated. The Gunners have done well last time out, and if they can show the same fire tonight, it’s hard to doubt them and their chances to claim the W.
Prediction: Arsenal -0.50 Asian Handicap