The teams that will be competing in the final of the Europa League will be decided this coming Thursday, as the two semi-finals reach their conclusion. But, which teams will be the fortunate ones to be heading to Gdansk for the opportunity to win the famous trophy?
AS Roma vs Manchester United
Manchester United have got more than a foot in the final already heading into the second leg in Rome this week. The Red Devils took a commanding advantage in the home leg, and anything other than a defeat by at least four goals will ensure their passage through to the next round of the competition.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have had an unfortunate record in semi-finals since the Norwegian took over at Old Trafford. However, a run of five straight semi defeats looks to be over following their 6-2 win at the Theatre of Dreams last week. United were dominant in the second half as they scored five unanswered goals. Edinson Cavani was the star man for United, as he scored twice, and set up three. Bruno Fernandes also scored a brace, while Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba also got on the scoresheet.
AS Roma must hate visiting Old Trafford, as they have conceded 15 goals in their last three visits. They have an almost impossible task this coming week, but they will be focused on winning the game to take confidence into their remaining games in Serie A. Roma were ahead at the break at Old Trafford last weekend, as Lorenzo Pellegrini and Edin Dzeko had given the Italian side a 2-1 lead.
United could make a number of changes for the second leg, as the job is effectively done. However, it would still be hard to bet against United. The most likely result could be the draw.
Arsenal vs Villarreal
The team that Manchester United will come up against in the final is still anybody’s guess. Arsenal and Villarreal meet at the Emirates on Thursday, with plenty of football still to be played.
The Gunners may be hopeful of progressing through to the next round, as they scored a vitally important away goal with 15 minutes remaining last time out. Nicolas Pepe’s penalty has given Arsenal a great chance of progression, and they will be confident of reaching their second Europa League final in three seasons.
Villarreal have an advantage to defend at the Emirates, as they raced into a 2-0 lead in the first leg between the sides. Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol scored the goals. However, they will be without former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Etienne Capoue in the second leg, as he was sent off with ten minutes remaining in the first leg.
Villarreal have an excellent advantage after winning the first leg, as they have lost on just one occasion in 16. That record will be put to the test this week, but we could still expect them to progress against a Gunners side that will be depleted in numbers.