Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could return; Alexandre Lacazette, Kieran Tierney, David Luiz expected to be fit; Winner will face Man Utd or Roma in the final; follow Villarreal vs Arsenal via our dedicated live blog on Sky Sports website and app on Thursday; kick-off at 8pm
Wednesday 28 April 2021 16:02, UK
Team news, stats, kick-off time ahead of the Europa League semi-final first leg between Villarreal and Arsenal (kick-off 8pm).
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.
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Arsenal could welcome back captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubameyang has missed the last four games after contracting malaria during the March international break but could return alongside fellow forward Alexandre Lacazette, who has overcome a hamstring complaint.
Kieran Tierney and David Luiz (both knee) have also been declared available.
How to follow
Follow live text commentary of Villarreal vs Arsenal through our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports’ digital platforms.
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- Villarreal and Arsenal will play for the fifth time in European competition, with the previous four games taking place in the UEFA Champions League (semi-finals in 2005-06 and quarter-finals in 2008-09) – Villarreal are yet to beat the Gunners (D2 L2).
- Arsenal are yet to beat Villarreal away from home, drawing on both previous visits (2006 and 2009). Their one goal in those games was an Emmanuel Adebayor overhead kick assisted by Cesc Fàbregas, while Robert Pires appeared as a substitute for the hosts.
- This is the first European semi-final tie that Villarreal will contest since losing 1-3 on aggregate to Liverpool at the same stage of this competition in 2015-16; in fact, they have been eliminated from all four of their major European semi-final ties.
- Arsenal have reached the semi-finals of European competition for the 10th time (including Fairs Cup), with the Gunners getting to the last four in three of their four UEFA Europa League campaigns.
- Arsenal have only lost one of their previous nine European semi-final first legs (W5 D3), though it was the last time the first leg was an away game, against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League in 2008-09 (0-1).
- Villarreal boss Unai Emery will contest a UEFA Europa League semi-final for the sixth time, which will be double that of any other coach in the competition (since the 2009 re-brand). Emery has progressed from each of his previous four such ties, including with Arsenal in 2018-19.
- Arsenal’s Nicolas Pépé has been directly involved in nine goals in the UEFA Europa League this season (five goals & four assists), the joint-most of any player – the Frenchman scored in both legs in the last round.
- Villarreal forward Gerard Moreno has either scored or assisted in all six of his UEFA Europa League starts this season, netting six goals while assisting another two.
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