Arsenal vs Villarreal UEFA League LIVE Football Match Score 29 April 2021
Villarreal manager Unai Emery – who spent 18 months as Arsenal manager – is likely to have an almost full squad to choose from. Midfielder Vicente Iborra is out with a knee injury.
There are other familiar faces at Villarreal – Francis Coquelin is also potentially in line to face his former club, Juan Foyth is on loan from Tottenham and former Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno could also feature.
Latest: Villarreal 1-2 Barcelona, 25/04
Where they stand: 7th in Liga
Latest: Arsenal 0-1 Everton, 23/04
Where they stand: 10th in Premier League
Route to the semi-finals
Villarreal: Unai Emery is to the manor born in this competition. He led Sevilla to three titles and Villarreal have been the stand-out team in 2020/21, unbeaten in 12 games (W11 D1) thanks in no small part to the twin goal threat of Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcácer. The Yellow Submarine have made light work of Salzburg (4-1), Dynamo Kyiv (4-0) and Tottenham’s vanquishers Dinamo Zagreb (3-1) in the knockouts.
Arsenal: The competition’s top scorers have had their issues this season but the European stage has brought the best out of them. Mikel Arteta’s charges became only the 11th side to advance from the group stage with a 100% record, and they have negotiated a rocky road through the knockouts. They have seen off Benfica (4-3), Olympiacos (3-2) and a Slavia Praha team (5-1) that had already claimed the scalps of Leicester and Ranger
Serial Europa League winner Unai Emery welcomes old foes Arsenal to the Estadio de la Ceramica for the first leg of Villarreal’s Europa League semi-final clash on Thursday.
The Yellow Submarine defeated Dinamo Zagreb 3-1 on aggregate to advance to the final four, whereas the Gunners swept aside Slavia Prague 5-1 over two legs.
For all of his continental silverware achieved with Sevilla, Emery could not replicate his spate of successes while in the Arsenal dugout, as the Spaniard oversaw a 4-1 defeat to Chelsea in the 2018-19 Europa League final before his ill-fated stint came to an end.
However, the former Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain boss has reinvigorated his managerial career with Villarreal, who have won 11 of their 12 Europa League games this season so far, including a perfect record of six wins from their six home games.
Villarreal have also managed to find the back of the net at least twice in all six of those continental triumphs and ended the Dinamo Zagreb journey in the quarter-finals, but they welcome Arsenal to Spain on the back of two successive league defeats to lowly Alaves and title-chasing Barcelona.
A red card to Manu Trigueros did not help matters against the Blaugrana, but the damage had been done by that point as Antoine Griezmann’s brace cancelled out Samuel Chukwueze’s opener, and that defeat condemned Villarreal to their third loss in five across all competitions.
Despite a downturn in league form, Emery has unsurprisingly masterminded a stellar run on the European stage as Villarreal bid to claim a first ever Europa League crown, but the last time they made an appearance in the semi-finals was back in the 2015-16 season, when another English side in Liverpool sent them packing.