So here it is then. We’ve more or less self hijacked our La Liga table position to be ready for this match, and the day has arrived. Unai Emery was hired to win a trophy for Villarreal, specifically, to win this trophy. With hopes of finishing fifth or sixth complicated and hopes of top four totally gone, the success or failure of our season comes down to whether we can get past a team with a far far far larger budget than us in a two legged knockout tie.
¡Y este es un once histórico para todos los groguets! ¡Los once titulares con los que el Villarreal jugará la ida de la semifinales de la @EuropaLeague!— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) April 29, 2021
The person in this lineup that makes me the most nervous has the captain’s armband. I trust Albiol’s mind, but I don’t trust his pace, and he is facing forwards today who can really move. If we have a bad turnover near midfield, and Albiol has to turn and sprint, we could find ourselves in an absolute world of hurt. That said, I think this lineup can also control a lot of the game and apply pressure on the Arsenal goal, so we’ll see how it goes.
Tonight's team is in...— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 29, 2021
Pepe leads the line
Holding partners Mari
Lacazette is missing for this one, which I think is good for us. Nicolas Pepe has some talent but frankly he’s not someone I’m that scared of (unless he gets in a footrace with Albiol). Odegaard will get a lot of attention but don’t sleep on Emile Smith-Rowe. The kid is good.
There’s a lot of recognizable names on the Arsenal bench but most of them are past it. I think we match up pretty well here as long as we keep their speed in front of us.
Drop your thoughts and opinions in the comments as always.