The Europa League semi-final is a game that will pretty much define Arsenal’s season, as they stand a very small chance of qualifying for European football through the league, but getting through against the Spanish outfit would leave them 90 minutes away from Champions League football next season.
And as such, they will need to be relying on their big guns such as Aubameyang, who has been limited in his playing time recently having been diagnosed with malaria a few weeks ago but was back in action to play the majority of the game against Newcastle United at the weekend.
“Auba got 78 minutes against Newcastle so he’s going to play against Villarreal, I think that’s an absolute certainty he’ll play there. The whole false nine experiment, that would have just been a one-off, now that Auba’s got 78 minutes under his belt and he’s scored which is a big boost, he’ll certainly lead the line against Villarreal, and then it’s all a case of who plays in that three behind him.”
Have you been disappointed in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this season?
No, he's been good enough
Yes, not been good enough
TIF Thoughts on Charles Watts comments about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
With 18 goals and assists to his name this season, there’s no argument that Aubameyang and what he can bring up top could end up being crucial to Arsenal’s chances on Thursday night, especially when you consider what is at stake for the club.
Arsenal have done a good job in managing his recovery in recent weeks, making sure that there aren’t any knock-on effects that could have hampered his playing ability, now we just have to wait and see whether or not he can deliver the goods for the Gunners.