Unai Emery’s side have been out of sorts lately, losing all of their last three matches and putting a top-four finish in the Premier League – and with it a spot in next season’s Champions League – in jeopardy. The Europa League could offer valuable insurance on that front.
Their opponents are in a similar position. Successive defeats in La Liga leave Valencia playing catch up in the race for the top four and in need of European redemption.
|Game||Arsenal vs Valencia|
|Date||Thursday, May 2|
|Time||8:00pm BST / 3:00pm ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched on BeINSports and live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|UniMas||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD. It can be streamed on BT Sport Live.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2 / BT Sport 4K UHD||BT Sport Live|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Leno, Cech, Okonkwo|
|Defenders||Sokratis, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Monreal, Koscielny, Jenkinson|
|Midfielders||Guendouzi, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Xhaka, Torreira, Maitland-Niles|
|Forwards||Aubameyang, Ozil, Lacazette, Nketiah, Iwobi|
Arsenal will made late checks on Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil before Thursday’s match, but Ozil has made the XI while Monreal is on the bench.
Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Danny Welbeck all remain out, while Denis Suarez’s season is over.
Aaron Ramsey's Arsenal career, meanwhile, has been ended by a hamstring injury .
Confirmed Arsenal starting XI: Cech; Maitland-Niles, Koscielny, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Mustafi, Guendouzi, Torreira; Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette
|Defenders||Garay, Lato, Piccini, Diakhaby, Rivero, Centelles, Gabriel, Roncaglia, Gaya, Diakhaby|
|Midfielders||Parejo, Carlos Soler, Torres, Wass|
|Forwards||Gameiro, Sobrino, Guedes, Rodrigo, Mina|
Valencia are without former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin, who is suspended.
Geoffrey Kondogbia and Denis Cheryshev are both injured while defender Cristiano Piccini is a doubt.
Confirmed Valencia starting XI: Neto; Diakhaby, Gabriel, Roncaglia, Gaya, Piccini, Parejo, Soler, Guedes, Garay, Rodrigo
Betting & Match Odds
Arsenal are even money favourites to win this game with Bet365 . Valencia are 3/1 outsiders and a draw is priced at 13/5.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery has a well-deserved reputation as a Europa League specialist, having won the competition the last three times he has entered, albeit with Sevilla.
It may be that he needs to use this talent for claiming the silver-medal event if the Gunners are to play in next season’s Champions League, having been powerless to stop an alarming slump of domestic form.
Crystal Palace, Wolves and Leicester have defeated the north London outfit in successive matches, each scoring three goals, leaving no guarantees that the six points needed from forthcoming fixtures against Brighton and Burnley will be attained.
Indeed, Emery admitted that he has shifted his focus away from the Premier League following Sunday’s embarrassing 3-0 loss to the Foxes.
“We are going to think about Valencia in the Europa League,” he said in the wake of the defeat. “We have a big ambition in this competition. It’s a semi-final and it’s going to be difficult also. Then we play on Sunday against Brighton, and we need to win this match.”
Gunners legend Ian Wright has questioned if the Champions League will be the right place for the team closest to his heart.
“It's worrying how embarrassing it could become if we get there and we keep playing the way we are,” he said via a YouTube post.
Seeking to take advantage of the Arsenal’s cold spell is a Valencia side in an equally fragile state.
However, motivated by a special anniversary for the club and boosted by an impressive 5-1 win over Villarreal in the previous round, head coach Marcelino, who has already guided his team to a date with Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final, is eyeing an upset over two legs.
“Baku is still a long way away for us, we will be facing one of the competition favourites,” he said.
“This is our centenary year and we would like to play in another final, it is a big incentive for us.
“We are proud to be in this semi-final, in the Copa del Rey final and chasing a top four spot.”
Subsequent losses against Atletico Madrid and Eibar have taken the shine off their recent achievements, but with Arsenal struggling away from home , they will appreciate that if they can keep things relatively tight in London, they will stand a good chance in the return leg in Spain.