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Arsenal v. Valencia, Europa League semifinal leg one preview/discussion: Gotta do this

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The problem of the league has magnified the importance of this game.

S.S.C. Napoli v Arsenal - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final : Second Leg Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The effort put forth for this Europa League semifinal leg 1 preview will be equivalent to the energy Arsenal has put into attempting to win a match these last few weeks.

Arsenal is going to line up 11 players. Who those guys are I haven’t the slightest inkling. If I’m a betting man it’ll be Mesut Ozil and like some others I dunno. We might win, but we might not win; we’ve failed to do so ever since Aaron Ramsey - who is leaving on a free this summer - injured his hamstring at Napoli last month. Ramsey has now been ruled out, so I guess we know what that means when trying to predict a result tomorrow.

The thing is, though, Arsenal play host to La Liga’s Valencia. Not only does Valencia consistently flirt with bankruptcy every handful of years, but they’re also dumb enough to pay Francis Coquelin and Gabriel Paulista actual monies to show up and contribute what little they can to help them win matches. They also hired Unai Emery once. It’s all pretty wild if you think about it.

Valencia is well known for things like oranges (I think) and having only partially completed a new stadium that sits like a dust-covered shell hovering over the skyline, constantly reminding its citizens they’re so close yet so far away from being a competent club. Their logo is rad, something that I’m sure makes Ozzy Osbourne hungry, and their weather is even nicer.

A ball will be kicked many times, and maybe a few goals will be scored. Who knows; I don’t. Since Arsenal is playing I’m sure one of our players will get sent off for doing absolutely nothing; count on it. The return leg to the land of oranges is next Thursday, and the winner of this leg will get to go to sunny, democratic Baku, Azerbaijan, to dodge state-sponsored terrorism and violence for the chance to get eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League this coming fall.

The end, or something. Yeah.

WHAT:
Arsenal v. Valencia, Europa League semi-final

WHERE:
Emirates Stadium, London

WHEN:
Thursday, May 2, 2019
12PM PT/3PM ET/8PM BT

HOW:
US TV: UniMas (Spanish language broadcast)
US Streaming: Bleacher Report Live ($)
Please do not link to or discuss illegal streams.
Worldwide: Livesoccer.tv for all the info where you are.

WHO:
Arsenal:

Valencia: