Thomas Partey Arsenal FC
Thomas Partey Arsenal FC

Arsenal got back to winning ways this weekend as they beat Newcastle United in the Premier League and this victory will give them a major boost before their key European endeavour.

The Gunners suffered a 2-1 to Villarreal in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final last week but they are still in this competition thanks to that precious away goal scored by Nicolas Pepe in the second half.

Villarreal manager Unai Emery completely outfoxed Mikel Arteta in the first leg and given the fact that the Spanish side are on a nine-game winning streak in the Europa League, we can’t help but agree with the fact that Arsenal go into this match as the underdogs.

Arsenal are currently ninth on the Premier League table so winning the Europa League is their only chance of securing a place in Europe next season. But the way Arsenal have been performing this season, it’s very hard for us to claim that the Gunners will go all out and come out with a victory on the other side.

Arsenal team news vs Villarreal:

David Luiz suffered another injury setback right after returning from knee surgery and he will not be available for the second leg so Gabriel and Rob Holding will pair up in central defence.

In the first leg, it was Pablo Mari who played in central defence and he too is in contention to get a start.

The manager has also confirmed that Kieran Tierney will not recover in time so once again Granit Xhaka will be playing as the left full-back, an area which Villarreal very happily exploited in the first leg.

Dani Ceballos is suspended for this game courtesy a red card last week so Elneny will pair Thomas Partey in defensive midfield.

Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard are both in line to play in that No 10 role so it will be interesting to see who the Arsenal boss chooses on Thursday.

Alexandre Lacazette is another big-name player who will be missing with an injury so Aubameyang will play as the centre-forward. Bukayo Saka will take up the right flank and Nicolas Pepe will play on the left-hand side.

Gabriel Martinelli put in a fine shift vs Newcastle United on Sunday and the youngster will be hoping to be rewarded with a start this week.

Injury updates via Premier Injuries.

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