Arsenal travel to Spain on Thursday looking to book themselves a spot in this season’s Europa League final, and potentially a spot in next year’s Champions League should they win the showpiece game in Baku.
With a 3-1 lead from the first leg, Unai Emery and his players will have to navigate a tricky away tie against a team who scored six goals in their La Liga game at the weekend.
The Gunners’ away from this season has been poor, and this should worry Emery and Arsenal fans alike as they aim to end the campaign with silverware. The Gunners drew last time out to lowly Brighton, with their current run being less than spectacular and they will need to be alert to navigate past Valencia at the Mestalla.
Check out 90min’s preview of the clash below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Thursday 9 May|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Mestalla Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport|
Crucially, Arsenal will be without departing midfielder Aaron Ramsey who is out with a hamstring injury and is unlikely to feature for the Gunners before he leaves for Juventus in the summer. Emery will also be without long-term absentees Danny Welbeck, Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Denis Suarez.
Valencia will be missing central midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia whilst winger Denis Cheryshev is also unavailable with a ligament injury.
|Valencia||Neto; Piccini, Gabriel, Garay, Gaya; Wass, Diakhaby, Parejo, Guedes; Mina, Rodrigo|
|Arsenal||Cech; Maitland-Niles, Koscielny, Sokratis, Kolasinac; Torreira, Xhaka, Guendouzi; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang|
Head to Head Record
There have been six games between Arsenal and Valencia, with the Spanish side currently leading with three wins. Arsenal’s only other win came back in 2001 when they triumphed 2-1 in a Champions League quarter final, courtesy of goals from Thierry Henry and Ray Parlour
Arsenal have two wins in their last six games, with both of those coming in the Europa League against Valencia and Napoli respectively. Their away from will be a worry, having conceded nine goals in three games, but their two goal cushion in this tie should give them an advantage in Spain.
50 – Arsenal have conceded at least 50 goals in consecutive top-flight campaigns for the first time since 1982-83/1983-84. Trouble. #ARSBHA
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 5, 2019
Valencia have three wins in their last six games, with the most recent being a 6-2 thrashing of relegated Huesca in La Liga. This result will undoubtedly give Los Ches confidence that they can overturn the two goal deficit and make it to the final.
Here’s how each side has fared in their last five matches.
|Huesca 2-6 Valencia (5/5)||Arsenal 1-1 Brighton (5/5)|
|Arsenal 3-1 Valencia (2/5)||Arsenal 3-1 Valencia (2/5)|
|Valencia 0-1 Eibar (28/4)||Leicester City 3-0 Arsenal (28/4)|
|Atletico Madrid 3-2 Valencia (24/4)||Wolves 3-1 Arsenal (24/4)|
|Real Betis 1-2 Valencia (21/4)||Arsenal 2-3 Crystal Palace (21/4)|
It’s well known that Arsenal struggle away from home, but their attacking force is so potent it has gotten them out of tricky situations on a number of occasions. Their defence will need to be alert as they defend their two goal cushion but Valencia’s away goal make things all the more tense. Two goals unanswered by the home side and Arsenal are out.
5 – @valenciacf_en have scored five goals in a first half of a @LaLiga game for the first time in the 21st century. Correction.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 5, 2019
Valencia will have been buoyed by their thrashing of Huesca at the weekend and need to go at Arsenal to have any chance of progressing to the final. They have a few players who can cause the Gunners’ back line problems, and with the home crowd behind them they should win this game, but it won’t be enough to progress as they will struggle to keep Arsenal’s attack out.
Prediction: Valencia 2-1 Arsenal (Agg: 3-4)