Arsenal vs Valencia preview | Double injury boost | Expected line-up’s | Prediction
Here is our match preview ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Valencia including team news, expected line-ups and prediction
Arsenal will be keen to secure a first leg advantage when we take on Valencia in our Europa League semi-final at the Emirates this evening.
We booked our place in the last four of the competition with an impressive 4-0 aggregate victory over Napoli in the quarter-finals and Unai Emery will now face-off against his former side for a place in the final.
Arsenal’s form coming into the game has been shocking as we’ve slumped to disappointing defeats to Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester City so we’re going to have to turn things around if we’re to get a positive result tonight.
The three consecutive defeats in the Premier League have left us sitting fifth in the table – two points adrift of Chelsea with just two games remaining – so winning the Europa League could be Arsenal’s best chance of getting back into the Champions League.
Emery certainly has great pedigree in the competition as he won the Europa League in three consecutive seasons with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016 so he’ll no doubt be confident of replicating that success at Arsenal.
We’ll be up against a Valencia side that beat Villarreal 5-1 on aggregate in the previous round but they too have lost form domestically recently as they come into the match off the back of defeats to Atletico Madrid and Eibar.
Aaron Ramsey has played his last game in an Arsenal shirt after being ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury while Denis Suarez also won’t play again this campaign due to a groin problem.
However, Arsenal are boosted by the return of Mesut Ozil as he’s available again after recovering from a bruised foot while Nacho Monreal returns from a calf injury that kept him out of the defeat at Leicester.
Robert Holding, Hector Bellerin (both knee) and Danny Welbeck (ankle) remain our long-term absentees. Alexandre Lacazette should partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in attack.
Valencia will be without Geoffrey Kondogbia due to a thigh injury while Denis Cheryshev is also ruled out with a knee problem. Cristiano Piccini is still on the sidelines while Francis Coquelin misses the first leg through suspension.
Gabriel Paulista will face his former side as the centre-back is expected to line-up in the middle of defence for the visitors.
Arsenal 2-0 Valencia: Our form in the league has been woeful of late but we’ve been excellent at home for much of the season and Arsenal should be confident of winning the first leg at the Emirates. We’ve kept nine clean sheets in our last 11 European games and with the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette in attack, we should have enough firepower to grab a couple of goals. I’m backing Arsenal to put one foot in the final with a 2-0 win tonight.
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