Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: UEFA Europa League Semi-Finals (Second leg) Preview

UEFA Europa League Semi-Finals (Second leg) Preview

Arsenal will looking to turn the tie around at the Emirates stadium

The second leg of the Europa League semi-finals is now upon us, and we can expect both matches to still be tightly contested.

Conceding two away goals early in the tie was not ideal for Manchester United, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side faced the contest head-on, winning the first leg 6-2 at Old Trafford.

Villarreal found themselves on the front foot within the first five minutes of the first leg, and a second goal followed just before the half hour mark. The second half substantially improved from an Arsenal perspective and the Gunners were rewarded with a penalty, which Nicolas Pepe slotted home for a crucial away goal to keep the tie alive.

It’s time for the final stages before we welcome the historic 50th UEFA Europa League final.

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Thursday 6 May

Arsenal 17/20
Draw 26/10
Villarreal 31/10
(21:00)

In the first leg, Villarreal got the job done with a 2-1 home win over Arsenal with goals from Manu Trigueros and captain Raul Albiol. Nicolas Pepe calmly netted a penalty to salvage an all-important away goal to take back to the Emirates in the second leg. Arsenal played the first leg semi-final as they have played all season, in a shockingly bad manner, and Unai Emery’s Yellow Submarine’s capitalized on Arsenal’s lacklustre performance.

Mikel Arteta will know as much as anyone that Arsenal’s season solely rests on Thursday night’s semi-final. The pressure is on for the ex-player, who could see the fan opinion finally turn on him if he fails to defeat Unai Emery. Team selection and mindset will be of utmost importance, but Arteta will be sweating on the late fitness tests of Kieran Tierney, Alexander Lacazette, and David Luiz, while Dani Ceballos misses out through suspension after being sent off in Spain.

Villarreal are in a similar boat, their domestic campaign has been poor compared to the previous season, drawing the same number of matches as wins with a total of 13 apiece. The Spanish outfit will be in full confidence though with striker Gerard Moreno spearheading the attack, with the 29-year-old scoring 26 goals and assisting nine in all competitions.

Unai will be looking to secure a fifth Europa League final at the helm of three different clubs and will be wary with first-choice right-back Juan Foyth out, as well as second choice right-back Ruben Pena, who was ruled out for their La Liga tie against Getafe, and finally, Manu Trigueros, suspended after picking up a red card in the first leg.

My money will be on the Gunners at 17/20. Arsenal to qualify at 21/20 is another good option or Arsenal to Win To Nil at 47/20.

AS Roma 26/10
Draw 3/1
Manchester United 17/20
(21:00)

At Old Trafford, Manchester United put six goals passed AS Roma to stamp their authority on the fixture. The Red Devils were set to take on Liverpool in what is always a must-watch fixture, but the fans had other plans, which involved a protest against the club’s owner, and the game was postponed.

AS Roma have been on a rather poor run of form – winless in five fixtures, conceding 16 goals on the run. However, Paulo Fonseca’s side have been near perfect at the Stadio Olimpico in the Europa League, winning four of their six matches this season, drawing the remaining two, and conceding just three.

The She-Wolf has struggled with injuries this season, and this fixture will be completely different with a fully fit squad. Two key players are back in the running for the starting XI with defender Gianluca Mancini back from suspension, and star man Pedro back in contention after succumbing to a muscle injury. The Italian outfit have a mammoth task ahead of them, needing to score four unanswered goals.

Manchester United will be in cruise mode in this fixture. Ole and the squad have done the job in the first leg, but after missing the Sunday game against Liverpool due to unforeseen circumstances, the boss will have a fully rested squad, still missing long-term injuries Phil Jones and Anthony Martial. United’s unblemished away record this season will be something the Red Devil’s will want to fight for with three wins and no goals conceded.

AS Roma on the Win/Draw Double Chance is the way to go as the bigger fight will come through the Italians at 8/10.

DOUBLE @ 2/1
Arsenal Win 17/20
Roma Win/Draw Double Chance 8/10

Written by Joshua Gaillard