Villarreal will host the Gunners tonight at the ‘Estadio de la Ceramica in the first leg semi-final of this season’s UEFA Europa League.
Both clubs met for the first time in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in the 2005/06 season. Villarreal was knocked out in an epic knockout tie after Riquelme missed a late penalty that would have sent them to the final.
In the 2008/09 season, the Submarine and the Gunners met again in the last eight of Europe’s elite competition, again it was Arsenal who triumphs after two legs.
“The Europa League semi-final is a challenge that excites us. We have an opportunity to repeat a historic date. This challenge makes us take on responsibility and we see it as a great challenge.” he said.
The former Arsenal boss said he will try to give Samuel Chukwueze and his mates vital tips about Mikel Arteta’s men before the game.
“In Europe, we know each other well. Villarreal has faced the side from London twice before. Having coached there, I have knowledge of the club and of the team, but I need to be capable of transferring that to the players. Despite that, it will be completely different in a new context. The two teams are focused 100% on reaching the final and being able to compete for a title”.
The in-form Nigerian wingers who has been nominated for the LaLiga Player of the Month Award for April has scored 3 goals in his last five games.