Former Premier League star Robert Pires predicted Villarreal would have a slight advantage over beating Arsenal when both teams clash in today’s semi-finals of the first league at the Estadio de la Cerámica.
Pires, a former Arsenal and Villarreal star, believes Unai Emery’s experience could play an important role in the two legs.
Villarreal eliminated Slavia Praha from the Europa League last 8, while Mikel Arteta’s team Dinamo Zagreb knocked out of the competition.
“I was lucky enough to play for two big teams, like Arsenal and Villarreal,” Emery told AS.
‘I was lucky to have the love of the people and the two clubs, and it’s something special to see them in a semi-final now.
“It makes me feel weird. I see the situation at Arsenal with sadness, I talk to Arteta and I see that it has not been an easy year.
‘What can save them is to win this Europa League and thus play the Champions League next year.
‘It’s hard to give a favorite to the semi-final. I would say it’s 50-50. It’s hard to get it right.
“I think Villarreal have an advantage because they are Emery, a coach who did very well in the competition. It does not surprise me at all that Villarreal are back in a semi-final.
“Everyone knows that if you go to see Villarreal, you will see a good team, a team with a lot of good players and that it will definitely make things difficult for Arsenal.”