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Confirmed line-ups: Villarreal vs Arsenal – Pepe starts up front, Aubameyang on the bench

By on April 29, 2021

pierre-emerick aubameyang arsenal 2020

Arsenal take on Villarreal in Spain in the first leg of our Europa League semi-final this evening.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has been boosted by the return to fitness of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the skipper recovered from malaria, however, he has to settle for a place on the bench.

That’s because Arteta has dropped a real surprise by starting Nicolas Pepe in the ‘false 9’ role this evening. Alexandre Lacazette isn’t in the squad so must have failed a late fitness test following a thigh injury.

Martin Odegaard does return for Arsenal as he starts in the attacking midfield roles along with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe. Thomas Partey lines-up in midfield along with Dani Ceballos.

Kieran Tierney isn’t fit enough to return just yet, despite Arteta suggesting ‘all players were in contention’, so Granit Xhaka continues at left-back while Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Pablo Mari back-up the back four.

These are the teams for the game:

Arsenal

Leno, Chambers, Holding, Mari, Xhaka, Partey, Ceballos, Saka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Pepe

Subs: Ryan, Okonkwo, Gabriel, Bellerin, Aubameyang, Willian, Cedric, Luiz, Nelson, Elneny, Nketiah, Martinelli.

Villarreal

Rulli, Pedraza, Pau, Albiol, Foyth, Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros, Alcacer, Chukwueze, Moreno

Subs: Sergio Asenjo, Mario, Funes Mori, Bacca, Estupinan, Moreno, Coquelin, Jaume, Moi Gomez, Pino, Baena, Nino

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