UEFA Europa League Thursday: Semifinals Preview
The first leg of the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League begins on Thursday, with both matches starting at 3 PM ET.
Manchester United hosts Roma at Old Trafford. The Red Devils reached the semifinals with their 2-0 win at home against Granada on April 15th. That victory secured their 4-0 aggregate score triumph after their 2-0 road win against the Nazaries on April 8th.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has won 12 of their last 17 matches across all competitions. They last played on Sunday in a 0-0 draw at Leeds United in a result that ended their five-game winning streak. Man United is in second place in the English Premier League, 10 points behind Manchester City.
Roma advanced from the quarterfinals with a 3-2 aggregate score triumph against Ajax. The Yellow and Reds won the first leg on the road, 2-1, on April 8th before settling for a 1-1 draw at home against the Dutch giants on April 15th.
Manager Paulo Fonseca’s team is winless in their last four matches after a 3-2 loss at Cagliari on Sunday. Roma is in seventh place in Serie A, trailing Lazio by five points, who still have a game in hand.
BetOnline lists Man United as a -1 goal line favorite with the total set at 2.75.
Arsenal travels to Villarreal in the second semifinals match. The Gunners advanced from the quarterfinals with a 4-0 victory against Slavia Praha on April 15th. Those teams settled for a 1-1 draw in the first left at Emirates Stadium on April 8th.
Manager Mikel Arteta’s side is winless in their last two matches in the English Premier League after a 1-0 loss at home to Everton on April 23rd. Arsenal is in tenth place in the English top flight. They are one point behind Leeds United for ninth place, while a distant six points behind Everton and seven points behind Tottenham for the eighth and seventh place spots.
Injuries have played a significant role for the Gunners in the second half of their season. Arteta is hopeful that Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kiernan Tierney, and Martin Odegaard will be available. Winning the Europa League title is the best opportunity the franchise has to qualify for the European competition next season.
Villarreal reached the semifinals after their 2-1 victory against Dinamo Zagreb on April 15th. The Yellow Submarine won the aggregate score by a 3-1 margin after their road victory in the first leg on April 8th.
Manager Unai Emery’s team has lost two in a row in La Liga after their 2-1 loss at home to Barcelona. Villarreal is in seventh place in the Spanish top flight. They trail Real Betis by one point for sixth place, and they lag by four points against Real Sociedad for fifth place in the table.
Emery will be a familiar face for many of the Gunners as he was the team’s previous manager before being replaced by Emery in November of 2019.
BetOnline lists this match as a pick ‘em with an over/under of 2.5. Both games are available on Paramount+.