UEFA Europa League Semifinals Previews and Odds - 05/06/2021

by Big Al Staff

The second leg of the semifinals of the UEFA Europa League takes place on Thursday, with both matches starting at 3 PM ET.

Manchester United visits Roma after winning the first leg, 6-2, last Thursday. Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring nine minutes into the match for the Red Devils. Lorenzo Pellegrini’s penalty kick and Edin Dzeko’s goal at the 33rd-minute mark gave Roma the lead. Man United stormed out of the locker room in the second half with four unanswered goals, with Edinson Cavani scoring twice and Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood adding goals. 

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 13 of their last 18 matches across all competitions. Their showdown with Liverpool got postponed on Sunday amidst protests at Old Trafford Stadium regarding Man United’s ownership’s involvement in the Super League fiasco.

Roma is winless in their last six matches after a 2-0 loss at Sampdoria on Sunday. The Yellow and Reds are in seventh place in Serie A, trailing Lazio by eight points.

Manager Paulo Fonseca’s team advanced from the quarterfinals in the Europa League 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. 

Roma must score at least four goals to put themselves in a position to advance. A 4-0 or 5-1 result gives them the away goal tiebreaker. If Man United scores more than two goals, then the Yellow and Reds must win by five goals to advance. A 6-2 score for Roma after regulation time would force extra time with the aggregate score tied at eight goals apiece and deadlocked with two away goals apiece. If both teams score in extra time, but the score remains tied after the two after the two 15-minute halves, the Red Devils advance via the away goals tiebreaker. A best-of-five penalty shootout resolves the match if the extra time goes scoreless. 

BetOnline lists Man United as a -0.5 goal line road favorite with the total set at 3.25.

Villarreal travels to Emirates Stadium to play Arsenal after winning the first leg, 2-1, on Thursday. Manu Trigueros opened the scoring five minutes into the match, and Raul Albiol gave the Yellow Submarines a two-goal lead 24 minutes later. A red card issued to Dani Ceballos left the Gunners down to ten men at the 57th minute. Arsenal still managed to cut the score in half with Nicolas Pepe’s penalty kick at the 73rd minute. That goal makes the task easier for manager Mikel Arteta in the second leg.

The Gunners advance with a 1-0 result or a victory by more than one goal. A 2-1 score for Arsenal after regulation time would force extra time. They would need to either win after the extra period or hold Villarreal scoreless to force the penalty shootout.

The Gunners defeated Newcastle United on the road by a 2-0 score on Sunday. Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the two goals. Arsenal is in ninth place in the English Premier League, three points behind Everton for eighth place. 

Arsenal advanced from the quarterfinals of the Europa League 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. 

The Yellow Submarines reached the semifinals after their 2-1 victory against Dinamo Zagreb on April 15th. They 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 defeated Getafe, 1-0, on Sunday, with Yeremi Pino scoring at the 79th minute. Villarreal is in sixth place in La Liga. They trail Real Sociedad by one point for fifth place. 

Today’s winners advance to the finals of the Europa League in Gdansk, Poland, on May 26th. BetOnline lists Arsenal as a -0.5 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2.75. Both games are available on Paramount+.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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