Arsene Wenger is backing Arsenal to reach the Europa League final (Picture: beIN SPORTS)Arsene Wenger says his former club Arsenal have the ‘offensive potential’ to overturn their deficit against Villarreal and reach the Europa League final.
Arsenal’s Europa League hopes are hanging by a thread after Mikel Arteta’s side suffered a 2-1 defeat to ex-manager Unai Emery’s Villarreal in Spain last week.
The Gunners have endured a difficult season – sitting just ninth in the Premier League with four matches remaining – but Wenger has backed the team to produce the good at the Emirates on Thursday night.
If Arsenal progress to the Europa League final, they will likely meet Premier League rivals Manchester United following their first-leg thrashing over Roma.
‘I want them to do well,’ Wenger told beIN SPORTS. ‘It’s an opportunity to get to a final and come back to the Champions League.
‘I believe there is no chance of that in the Premier League but it’s still possible [through the Europa League]. It will be a success if Arsenal win a trophy, that is always a success, but your real qualities are decided by where you stand in the championship.
‘This is the route left for them and they have to completely for it. It’s very strange [Arsenal facing former manager Emery], it looks like an indoor Arsenal game, especially with no fans!
The pressure is on Gunners boss Mikel Arteta (Picture: Getty)‘But overall you still have an advantage playing at home, you feel more comfortable at home. I would say Arsenal have enough offensive potential to win the game.
‘You have so many strikers and people who can score goals and be creative. 2-1 is the result at the moment but you should be quite confident to change and reverse it.’
Arteta, who replaced Emery in the Emirates hot-seat during the 2019-20 season, says Arsenal will take the ‘biggest step forward’ if they reach the Europa League final.
‘It’s a big moment,’ the Spaniard said. ‘Not for me but for the club, for everything that has happened in the last two years, in the last months.
‘I think it will be really important and our biggest step forward if we are able to be in that final and have the opportunity to win that trophy.’
Manchester United all-but secured their place in the Europa League final with an emphatic 6-2 win over Italian side Roma in last week’s first leg at Old Trafford.
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