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[Teams] Villarreal vs Arsenal: Confirmed line-ups for Europa League clash

Arsenal are in Spain to take on Villarreal in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie this evening. Here are the confirmed line-ups:

nicolas pepe arsenal

Arsenal are in Spain to take on Villarreal in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie this evening.

Mikel Arteta has made a surprise team selection as Nicolas Pepe appears to be starting up front with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only fit enough for a place on the bench after recovering from malaria. Alexandre Lacazette has failed to prove his fitness after a thigh injury while Eddie Nketiah is among the substitutes.

Kieran Tierney isn’t involved in the Arsenal squad despite returning to training this week so Granit Xhaka continues at left-back. Calum Chambers is selected ahead of Hector Bellerin and Cedric Soares at right-back while Pablo Mari lines-up with Rob Holding. Gabriel is therefore on the bench along with David Luiz – who returns from a knee injury.

Dani Ceballos keeps his place in midfield alongside Thomas Partey so Mo Elneny is among the Arsenal subs. Martin Odegaard returns to the starting eleven to join Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe in the attacking midfield positions.

Gabriel Martinelli has to make-do with a place on the bench where he’s joined by Willian and Reiss Nelson. With Aubameyang and Nketiah also among the subs, Arsenal have plenty of attacking options to bring on if needed.

As for Villarreal, Francis Coquelin has to make-do with a place on the bench against his former side. Gerard Moreno and Samuel Chukwueze support Pablo Alcacer in attack.

Here are the confirmed line-ups:

Villarreal

Rulli, Pedraza, Pau, Albiol, Foyth, Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros, Alcacer, Chukwueze, Moreno

Subs: Sergio Asenjo, Mario, Funes Mori, Bacca, Estupinan, Moreno, Coquelin, Jaume, Moi Gomez, Pino, Baena, Nino

Arsenal

Leno, Chambers, Holding, Mari, Xhaka, Partey, Ceballos, Saka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Pepe

Subs: Ryan, Okonkwo, Gabriel, Bellerin, Aubameyang, Willian, Cedric, Luiz, Nelson, Elneny, Nketiah, Martinelli.

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