Arsenal vs Valencia Preview
- Date: Thu, May 02, 2019
- Time: 3:00 p.m. (est)
- Network: UniMás
- Location: London, England
- Venue: Emirates Stadium
- Seating Capacity: 99, 364
Arsenal will look to divert attention from their alarming domestic form when they host Valencia in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals tonight.
The Gunners have lost three Premier League matches in a row, putting added importance on their European campaign, which ended at this same stage last season.
Valencia are currently sixth in La Liga and will certainly pose a threat to the Gunners, who avoided drawing Chelsea and Eintracht Frankfurt to face Marcelino García Toral’s men.
- Arsenal have faced Valencia on five previous occasions in all competitions, winning just once (D2, L2).
- Valencia are however winless in their two away visits to Arsenal (D1, L1).
Mesut Ozil and Nacho Monreal both missed the Leicester game through injury and are doubtful for Thursday’s clash. Aaron Ramsey may have well played his last game for the club, as he is out with a hamstring injury.
Denis Suarez (groin), Robert Holding, Hector Bellerin (both knee) along with Danny Welbeck (ankle) are other absentees.
Valencia will be without Geoffrey Kondogbia. The French midfielder had an operation on the hematoma in his left thigh last month.
Coquelin is suspended, winger Denis Cheryshev has also been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury while full-back Cristiano Piccini is also out.
Arsenal (3-4-1-2): Cech; Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Torreira, Kolasinac; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang.
Valencia (4-4-2): Neto; Wass, Garay, Paulista, Gaya; Torres, Soler, Parejo, Guedes; Moreno, Mina.
Arsenal have reached the semi-final stage of European competitions in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1995. Their final campaign under Wenger ended in disappointment following defeat to Atletico at this stage, but they now have a chance to put that right against another Spanish side. The Gunners have been a lot stronger at home than on their travels this term, and a narrow win in this first leg should set them up nicely for their trip to Mestalla next week.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Valencia
Written by Adithya Narayan
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Photo credit to Arsenal via Twitter