The 2021 Europa League semi-finalists are ready and eagerly waiting to lift the coveted trophy in Gdansk on May 26. There are four top-quality teams left in the competition, with each having a fair shot of winning the tournament. Apart from the chance of lifting silverware, the winner of the competition also gets a direct entry into next year’s Champions League, something which every club across Europe craves for.
Here’s how the two 2021 Europa League semi-finals will be shaping up.
MANCHESTER UNITED vs AS ROMA
Manchester United eased past Spanish team Granada in the quarterfinals of the Europa League as they scored two goals in both legs and kept two clean sheets. The Red Devils were too dominant for the Spanish side but now the challenge would get real as they face Paulo Fonseca’s well-drilled Roma. Going past the semi-final hurdle would be the key for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the team is on the hunt for their first trophy under the Norwegian coach.
AS Roma had a tough task of going past Ajax in the quarterfinals but came out on top and sealed the tie with a 3-2 win on aggregate. They will make life difficult for United but would be wary of the attacking talent the English side possess.
Key Players to Look Out For:
Edinson Cavani & Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Edin Dzeko & Lorenzo Pellegrini (AS Roma)
Prediction: Manchester United are the favourites to win the 2021 Europa League and Solskjaer’s side should have enough to beat the Italian team.
ARSENAL vs VILLARREAL
Mikel Arteta has been under the scanner ever since the season started and his side have had a disastrous Premier League campaign so far. Winning the FA Cup in the previous season gave the Spanish coach a grace period but some fans have started to turn on him this season. Winning the Europa League would be a brilliant way to end what has been a difficult first full season in charge for Arteta. They stormed past Slavia Prague in the quarterfinals and have a stern test in front of them in the form of Villarreal.
Unai Emery is all set for a reunion at Arsenal as his Villarreal side were able to overcome Dinamo Zagreb in the quarterfinals of the Europa League. He spent 18 months at the London club and had a difficult time with the Gunners. He’ll be hoping to have a smile on his face at the end of the tie by helping lead Villarreal to the final of the Europa League.
Key Players to Look out for:
Alexandre Lacazette & Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Paco Alcacer & Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)
Prediction: Unai Emery has won the Europa League three times with Sevilla and his know-how about winning this knockout tournament should be enough to book another final date.
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