There aren’t many sides in world football who could follow-up back-to-back wins against Napoli with three consecutive defeats against Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester, but Arsenal are certainly one of them.
The Gunners therefore come into this Europa League semi-final with Valencia in pretty ropey shape—not least because they’ve shipped nine goals during these three defeats—and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to predict what Arsenal side will show up on any given day.
The nine straight wins at The Emirates which proceeded the Palace defeat suggests Arsenal are deservedly (slight) favourites, but I believe Valencia can cause them some serious problems.
Like Arsenal, Valencia are also on a bit of a wobble – losing their last two matches. However, Marcelino’s men lost just one of their 22 games prior to this blip, which is a phenomenal effort.
Los Ches have failed to score in just two of their last 16 away matches, and judging by how atrociously Arsenal have defended of late, I reckon they’ll have some joy in front of goal.
Will Arsenal’s home form be telling? Or will Valencia rediscover the solidity that’s served the so well this season?
The visitors were very impressive away against Atletico Madrid last week when they succumbed 3-2—a place that’s arguably harder to travel to than The Emirates—and I’m expecting them to draw upon this performance on Thursday.
I’m backing a first-leg draw.
1u - Draw (3-way Moneyline) @+245
By Ryan Elliott