Manchester United and Arsenal can take a giant stride towards an all-English Europa League final tonight with positive results in their respective first-leg encounters.
United welcome Serie A side Roma to Old Trafford, while Arsenal are in Spain to take on Villarreal and former boss Unai Emery.
Manchester United vs Roma (8pm, BT Sport)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s latest attempt to reach a first final as Manchester United boss comes against an out-of-form Roma side.
The Red Devils have lost all four of their semi-final encounters across all competitions since the start of 2019, with the Norwegian still searching for a first piece of silverware in the Old Trafford hotseat.
While United have unquestionably made great improvements this term and sit second in the Premier League, trophies are what will ultimately help them keep hold of their star players and kick on in future campaigns.
Concerning recent reports have suggested talismanic Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes, 26, will hold out for team-mate Paul Pogba to agree a contract extension before signing one of his own.
Ahead of tonight’s clash, we examine the numbers behind the ever-improving partnership between Fernandes and Pogba.
Villarreal vs Arsenal (8pm, BT Sport)
While United have already all but assured a spot in next season’s Champions League, Arsenal’s only remaining qualification route is to win the Europa League.
The Gunners must overcome a Villarreal side coached by their former boss Emery — the man who led Arsenal to the 2018-19 Europa League final against Chelsea, which they lost 4-1 — to reach next month’s final in Gdansk.
Emery’s ill-fated 18-month spell in the Emirates dugout was difficult for all involved but the 49-year-old Spaniard has gone some way to rebuilding his reputation in his homeland..
Last December, the Yellow Submarine set a new club record of 19 games unbeaten across all competitions, while Emery has also further displayed his mightily impressive Europa League pedigree
We take a closer look at the man who has emerged victorious from 28 of his 31 knockout ties as a manager in this competition — and consider how Arsenal may be able buck the trend.
And there’s more…
As well as providing all the post-match reaction from both Europa League semi-finals, we will keep you up to date with all the day’s latest sporting stories.
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