Arsenal and Villarreal were welcomed by hundreds of Gooners on the streets of North London ahead of what is the biggest game of our season.
The Spaniards have a 2-1 advantage from the first-leg, but Nicolas Pepe’s away goal keeps us very much alive in the tie. A 1-0 win tonight will be enough to send us through to the final of the Europa League, and nothing but that is acceptable.
Mikel Arteta has to get everything right tonight and he has named a very attack-minded lineup.
No Tierney or David Luiz
Bernd Leno keeps his spot in goal with Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari and Granit Xhaka starting in front of him.
Both Tierney and Luiz were doubts for the game tonight, and only the former has made the bench. The Brazilian misses the game completely.
It looks like Thomas Partey will hold the midfield on his own tonight. He is more than capable of doing that, but it will not be easy, especially as Villarreal will probably look to counter-attack all game.
Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe all start in front of the Ghanaian in what looks like a 4-1-4-1. That gives Arsenal enough firepower to blow Unai Emery’s men away, but all of them will have to step up.
Skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leads the line and his goal on Sunday should’ve given him a big boost. We need a massive performance from our captain tonight, and if he can deliver – like he has in big knockout games before – we will go through.
Alexandre Lacazette is back from his hamstring injury but he will have to settle for a spot on the bench. Like Willian and Gabriel Martinelli alongside him, he will have to be ready to come on and have an impact if necessary.
Arsenal XI vs Villarreal: Bernd Leno; Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, Granit Xhaka; Thomas Partey; Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal substitutes: Maty Ryan, Arthur Okonkwo, Calum Chambers, Gabriel Magalhaes, Cedric Soares, Mohamed Elneny, Willian, Gabriel Martinelli, Willian, Alexandre Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah
Come On You Gunners!