Michael Owen states his prediction for Villarreal v Arsenal
Michael Owen is tipping Arsenal to lose 2-1 to Villarreal in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday night
Michael Owen is predicting that Villarreal will beat Arsenal 2-1 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final in Spain on Thursday night.
The Gunners will be looking to reach their second Europa League final in three seasons after Arsenal lost 4-1 to bitter rivals Chelsea FC in the Uefa showpiece in 2019.
Mikel Arteta has struggled to get his Arsenal side to produce consistent performances in his first full season in charge of the north London side.
Arsenal have only managed to win two of their last six games in all competitions.
The Gunners suffered a 1-0 loss to Everton in their most recent Premier League fixture at The Emirates last week.
Villarreal have lost three of their last four fixtures in La Liga to suffer a dip in form ahead of the Europa League semi-final clash.
Former Liverpool FC striker Owen is backing Villarreal to edge to a narrow 2-1 win over Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday night.
“Despite a rather patchy domestic record, Villarreal have been excellent in this year’s Europa League,” Owen told BetVictor.
“The Yellow Submarine have failed to win just one of their 12 matches and won all six of their games played at Estadio de la Ceramica.
“It goes without saying that the tie carries some extra spice with Unai Emery in the home dugout. The Europa League veteran would love nothing more than to make it to the final at the expense of his former side.
“For Arsenal, they have won just two of their last eight competitive outings, however, the Gunners’ are unbeaten in seven on the road.
“I think this could be one of the more open semi-finals in Europe this week, but given the form of the home side, I reckon it will be the Yellow Submarine who go into the second leg with the advantage.
“It’s 2-1 Villarreal for me.”
Arsenal will face their former manager Unai Emery after the former Gunners head coach took over the reins of Villarreal last year.
The Gunners will face Villarreal for the first time since their 4-1 win against the Spanish side in the Champions League quarter-final in 2009.
Arsenal were narrow 1-0 winners against the Yellow Submarine in the Champions League semi-finals in 2006.