Our prediction for this Europa League match:
All eyes will be on Emirates Stadium when Arsenal and Valencia take on each other in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals. Arsenal are on a three-game losing run in the Premier League ahead of the visit of Valencia, but they are still seen as hot favourites to win Thursday’s football match. The Gunners have been impressive on home soil in the Europa League this term and it has to be noted that they are eyeing their sixth consecutive triumph at their Emirates Stadium.
Los Che, on the other hand, proved their worth in the double-header against Villarreal, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry in Thursday’s clash against Arsenal. As previously mentioned, Unai Emery’s troops are a real force to be reckoned with at home, therefore, we predict that the Spaniards are going to return home empty-handed from the trip to London.
Highlighted Player (Alexandre Lacazette):
Alexandre Lacazette is a hometown boy of Lyon, a powerful striker who went through the youth ranks of the French side to become one of the most important players for Les Gones. The 25-year-old forward was also a member of all France national team selections becoming a European champion at the age of 19 by scoring the winner in the final against Spain.
This goal gave him a reputation of a big game player, one he went on to uphold on various occasions at his club. Lacazette is a hard working forward an accomplished finisher of the ball able to score from different positions. The most prolific striker in his side and among the top ones in the Ligue 1, Alexandre Lacazette scored more than 20 league goals last two seasons on a trot.
Constantly linked with a move away from Lyon, Alexandre Lacazette refuses to speak about anything other than his football and is leaving all the talk to the football pitch.
Highlighted Team (Valencia):
Founded on March 18, 1919, Valencia FC are a Spanish football club that compete in La Liga. Los Che play their home games at Estadio de Mestalla, the stadium which was opened back in May, 1923. The capacity of the venue is 50,000. Seeing that bats are quite common in Valencia, it is no surprise they are nicknamed the Bats.
Valencia made it to the Champions League final on two occasions (2000, 2001), but they were beaten in the title games by Real Madrid and Bayern Munchen respectively. The Spanish club, though, did well to win the UEFA Cup title in the 2003/2004 season, with the team beating Marseille in the final of the competition.
A number of top-class footballers were part of the club in the past, with the likes of Pablo Aimar, Ruben Baraja, David Albelda, Santiago Canizares, John Carew and Gaizka Mendieta all playing for the Estadio de Mestalla outfit. Valencia main colors are white and black, whilst they often where orange jerseys and shorts when playing on the travels.