It is time for the semi-finals of the Europa League, where Arsenal will clash against Valencia on Thursday. The first leg will take place in London, where Arsenal have been really good during the course of the season. Both teams had comfortable jobs in the previous round of the competition. But this is the last step before the final, so things are bound to be more complicated.
Date/Time: 5-2-2019, 15:00 EST
Spread: Valencia +0.5
Total: 2.5 Goals
Arsenal squared off against Italian side Napoli in the previous round of the Europa League. They were great in both matches and quite comfortably qualified to the semi-finals. After a solid 0-2 at home, Arsenal had some luck in the second leg. They went on to score the only goal of the match to win by 1-0. The Gunners have not been in very good form lately, having lost each of their last three matches in all competitions. Arsenal reach the semi-finals of the Europa League for the second consecutive season. Their only previous Europa League experience came last season, where they also made it to the semi-finals but fell to Atletico Madrid.
On the other hand, Valencia were the winners of the Spanish Battle in the quarter-finals. They had to deal with Villarreal, but made a dominant start with a strong 3-1 on the road in the first leg. Valencia doubled their wins with a solid 0-2 at home and easily passed to the next round. Valencia have been great in the Europa League lately, as they are undefeated in their last six (5-0-1). Three of those wins came with clean sheets too. Valencia are in the semi-finals of the Europa League for the third time – both previous losses came against Spanish opposition. They have lost just two of their last seven European away matches (2-2-3).
Valencia have actually stood greatly against Arsenal, losing just one of the previous four H2Hs (2-1-1). Arsenal’s coach Emery is known for his days in Sevilla, where he captured three consecutive Europa Leagues. This is an amazing feat, and he also knows Valencia very well.
In addition, Arsenal are unlikely to capture the 4th spot in the Premier League this season. That would result in no Champions League for next season. Unless they capture the Europa League and grab the wild-card. I expect a really careful match here.
Europa League Arsenal vs Valencia Spread and Prediction: Arsenal -0.5 (-110)