Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Critical to Arsenal Europa Chances

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Arsenal will welcome Villarreal to the Emirates on Thursday for the Europa League semi-finals second leg, the result of which will make-or-break the North Londoners’ season. The Spanish side will go into the game with a lot of confidence and up 2-1 in the tie, but if there is one man who can help the Gunners turn the tie on its head, it is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The striker has scored 15 goals this season, but that has to be considered a disappointing return, considering his ability and paygrade. Lofty standards have been set by the former Borussia Dortmund man due to all that he has accomplished during his time in England.

Arsenal vs Villarreal FYIs

Kick-off Time: 8:00 PM, 6 May (Thursday)

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Arsenal Starting XI Prediction: go here

Form Guide Europa League: Arsenal (WLDWL) Villarreal (WWWWW)

The Gabonese forward was only able to play a few minutes in the first leg of this tie, but his quality and presence in attack was visible to all.

He brought a whole new dimension to the way the North Londoners were creating chances. If the forward had taken the one chance that came his way, perhaps the Emirates side could have been level on aggregate with two away goals.

With the forward coming off the back of a good performance against Newcastle United, it will sound some alarm bells to the Yellow Submarines.

Aubameyang scored on Sunday but what was impressive was the manner in which he took the goal. It showed a sharpness that we haven’t seen as much of this season. This is the type of quality that the captain possesses and will be needed on Thursday.

Another factor to consider is the striker’s excellent record when it comes to ‘big’ games. Over the course of his career in North London, he has stepped up in important matches.

This was evident in the successful FA Cup campaign last season. The Gunners captain scored a brace in both the semi-final and final to bring some more silverware to the Emirates.

One of Arsenal’s biggest problems in recent weeks has been their inability to finish the chances they create. But with Aubameyang, they have a player who specialises in this area of the game.

Yes, he might miss one or two chances but invariably, when the team needs him, the 31-year-old steps up and delivers. Mikel Arteta will be hoping that his captain can help deliver the telling blow against Villarreal.

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