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Arsenal vs Valencia: Why Gunners fans should be WORRIED ahead of Europa League semi-final

ARSENAL are so difficult to work out at the moment and could find life tough against Valencia in their Europa League semi-final first leg on Thursday.


That is the view of ESPN FC pundit and former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol, who thinks the Spanish side should be considered favourites to win the tie.

Unai Emery’s men welcome Valencia to the Emirates knowing that winning the Europa League is looking like their best way of securing Champions League football next season.

Three straight defeats in the Premier League have made a top four finish look increasingly unlikely with only two games remaining.

So Emery is likely to now place all of his Champions League eggs in the Europa League basket.

Arsenal face a tricky task against Valencia in the Europa League, says Steve Nicol (Pic: GETTY/ESPN)

Arsenal have been very strong at home this season and had won 10 Premier League games in a row until they lost to Crystal Palace a couple of weeks ago.

And it has been the same in the Europa League, where the Gunners won all but one of their group phase home games as well as all of their knockout games at home.

After a slow start to the season, Valencia are in a similar situation to Arsenal in that they sit just outside the top four spots in La Liga and may feel that the Europa League is their best chance of claiming Champions League football.

And Nicol thinks that they could be favourites for the tie - unless Arsenal can turn it on at the Emirates in the first leg.

Arsenal have suffered three Premier League defeats in a row (Pic: GETTY)

“It’s very difficult to figure out where Arsenal are mentally and emotionally”

Steve Nicol


“It’s very difficult to figure out where Arsenal are mentally and emotionally because some of their performances have been so bad,” he told ESPN FC.

“But then at home, particularly in the Europa League they have been nothing sort of sensational.

“So half of me is expecting what they normally do but the other half knows that they can capitulate and Valencia can take advantage.

“Arsenal have been on this horror run but then Valencia have lost their last couple of games but at the moment I would say that Valencia are probably favourites to go through.”

Arsenal will be without Aaron Ramsey, who has played his last game for the club (Pic: GETTY)

Arsenal may start with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette against Valencia (Pic: GETTY)

Fellow ESPN FC pundit Alejandro Moreno thinks that Arsenal must play well in the first leg but they should be motivated to do so.

“If there was any motivation needed for Arsenal then this is it,” he added.

“They are barely hanging on to their top four hopes in the Premier League but if they don’t play well at home against Valencia, then goodbye.”

The first leg on Thursday kicks off at 8pm.

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