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Sport UEFA Europa League: Arsenal-Villarreal betting odds, predictions, expert picks

08:10  06 may  2021
08:10  06 may  2021 Source:   cbssports.com

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The Europa League semifinals continue on Thursday as Arsenal host Villarreal at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners are facing a 2-1 deficit after dropping the first leg away to Villarreal last week, and will be reunited with former manager Unai Emery, who now coaches the Spanish club and is just one match from another cup final. Despite the 2-1 aggregate, Arsenal are considered favorites and will look to take advantage of their away goal against the Spanish side.

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All Europa League games can be viewed live and on demand on Paramount+. A special edition of "The Golazo Show," the live whip-around program featuring every goal from every match, will air live on CBS Sports Network and Paramount+ starting at 2 p.m. ET.

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 United Thanks to Torgala on Final Course - Arsenal threatens K.o. Manchester United stands with eDinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes with one leg in the final of the Europa League. By contrast, the FC Arsenal threatens in the semifinals. © Provided by sport1.de United Thanks to Torgala on Final Course - Arsenal threatens K.o. Manchester United with Torfestival - Tristesse at the FC Arsenal: The dream of a purely English finale in the Europa League threatens to burst.

Let's get to the predictions:

Arsenal vs. Villarreal

Date: Thursday, May 6 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: Paramount+

Featured Game| Arsenal vs. Villarreal
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Moneyline
Total
ARS
-0.5
-125
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-120
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o2.5
-130
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VIL
+0.5
-105
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+340
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u2.5
+100
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DRAW
+250
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Pick2-22-02-11-12-23-12-02-0

Rongen's take: Former Gunners boss Unai Emery returns to Emirates Stadium up 2-1 and with a battle-hardened outfit packed full of experienced performers well equipped to cope with pressure. Expect a high-scoring stalemate and Villarreal to advance to the final. Pick: Arsenal 2, Villarreal 2 (Villarreal advance 4-3 on aggregate)

Bittersweet victory for Emery as Villarreal spare 10-man Arsenal

  Bittersweet victory for Emery as Villarreal spare 10-man Arsenal Unai Emery won his big reunion with Arsenal but 2-1 might prove a small reward for Villarreal, who failed to take advantage of Dani Ceballos being sent off in a frantic Europa League semi-final first leg on Thursday. Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol gave Villarreal a dream start at La Ceramica and the tie looked to be slipping away from Arsenal when Ceballos was shown a second yellow card early in the second half. But 10-man Arsenal rallied and grabbed an away goal when Nicolas Pepe converted a penalty in the 73rd minute, before Villarreal's Etienne Capoue also saw red with 10 minutes left to play.

Romano's take: As with Slavia Prague, Arsenal can play in the second leg and win their way into the final. Experience and history can make the difference -- the talented Bukayo Saka, too. Pick: Arsenal 2, Villarreal 0 (Arsenal advance 3-2 on aggregate)

Why Arsenal's Europa League match against Villarreal could make or break Mikel Arteta's managerial tenure

  Why Arsenal's Europa League match against Villarreal could make or break Mikel Arteta's managerial tenure Arsenal need to overturn a 2-1 deficit to reach the finals and keep alive their hopes of Champions League qualification or no continental football at all for the first time since 1995. That is not his fault alone. For a rookie manager at a top club, Arteta has been handed a string of off-field crises the likes of which many veterans have never navigated.

Echegaray's take: I think Unai Emery is looking back at the tape of the first leg and ruing the fact that his team really should have killed the opponent. One side of the coin tells you that the Spanish side had more opportunities to dismantle Arsenal, especially after Dani Ceballos's red card in the 57th minute. But when you look at the statistics, Arsenal were actually -- at least for the purpose of possession -- the team in control. They also took as many shots as the home side, it's just that few went on target. A 2-1 advantage is not enough to make me think Villarreal enter this game as the clear favorite, but they do hold the lead and if they're smarter with their chances and productivity, they should reach the final. But I don't know, something about this game tells me that for once, just this once, Arsenal's fate will finally be determined by fortune going THEIR way. Pick: Arsenal 3, Villarreal 1 a.e.t. (Arsenal advance 4-3 on aggregate)

Arsenal vs. Villarreal: testing the mettle

  Arsenal vs. Villarreal: testing the mettle Arsenal have a chance to show what they’re made of.The good news for Mikel Arteta’s side is that they’ll struggle to play worse than they did in the first leg. Several key injuries, including not having a traditional center forward, forced Arteta into a new, untested lineup and formation that did not generate enough offense. He should have the services of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the off; the striker declared himself 90% fit and ready to play “one of the biggest games of [his] Arsenal career.

Johnson's take: Emery gets another shot at Europa League glory after steering the Yellow Submarine past his former employers and into the final. Pick: Arsenal 1, Villarreal 1 (Villarreal advance 3-2 on aggregate)

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  Arteta ‘devastated’ by UEL defeat; uncertain times ahead for Arsenal The semifinal defeat will hurt plenty, but Arsenal's impending rebuild will hurt far worse.[ MORE: Man United, Villarreal set for Europa League final; Arsenal crash out ]

Benge's take: There is every reason to think Arsenal will be vastly improved. Kieran Tierney and David Luiz can bolster the defense while the disastrous strikerless system from the first leg can be ditched with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang available again. Even on an off-night the Gunners did enough to test a Villarreal side that will be without key weapons including Juan Foyth and the away goal they got should count for a lot. Except, do you really believe a team whose defining trait is its propensity to self-destruct won't concede at least once? Arsenal have left themselves with much too much to do. Pick: Arsenal 2, Villarreal 2 (Villarreal advance 4-3 on aggregate)

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Gonzalez's take: The Gunners concede early to Gerard Moreno, but the attack kicks into gear with an electric display, overpowering the visitors' slow defense to advance to the final. Pick: Arsenal 3, Villarreal 1 (Arsenal advance 4-3 on aggregate)

Herrera's take: Arsenal dropped the first leg against Villarreal, but the 2-1 aggregate is narrow enough for the team to overcome. The home advantage could come into play against a Villarreal side that isn't quite used to big moments in the European stage. Pick: Arsenal 2, Villarreal 0 (Arsenal advance 3-2 on aggregate)

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Goodman's take: Arsenal managed to somehow escape the first leg of this matchup with their chances of winning intact. At home they won't face anything as challenging as being down two goals and a man with their tournament on the line. Unai Emery may be a Europa League wizard, but Arsenal's ability to control the ball will ultimately be too much for Villarreal. Pick: Arsenal 2, Villarreal 0 (Arsenal advance 3-2 on aggregate)

Thanks for checking us out, and good luck with your picks!

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