Peter Crouch has offered a verdict on Arsenal’s clash with Villarreal in the second leg of their Europa League tie on Thursday.
The Daily Mail columnist was asked whether he felt the Gunners could progress to the final despite trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Spain.
Crouch doesn’t seem overly convinced. He does think they’ll take some confidence from Sunday’s win over Newcastle, however.
The Gunners have one final shot at playing in Europe next season and will seemingly have to win the Europa League in order to do so.
Crouch was asked by a supporter as to whether he thought Arsenal had a chance of making the final when they lock horns with Unai Emery’s team this week.
He told the Daily Mail: “I honestly don’t know where I stand with Arsenal. On one hand, I look and see a club where there is a lot of things wrong. On the other, I see a team that has the ability to get a win when they really need one.
“Villarreal had enough chances to kill the first leg but Arsenal being Arsenal, they could end up getting away with it. The weekend win over Newcastle will have given them some confidence and they have strikers who can score at any time.
“But, would I put money on them? Not a chance.”
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With Manchester United leading 6-2 ahead of their second leg with Roma, their place in the final looks nailed on.
Arsenal have a fight on their hands and as Crouch says, they do have some real quality in their ranks.
They must start the game brighter than they did during the first leg and a chance to face Manchester United is a big incentive.
Arsenal beat the Red Devils back in November and that should give them some confidence if a final berth is secured.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have looked formidable recently and Arsenal would be in for a stern test.
The Gunners would need the win more than United, however, and the incentive of sticking one over their old foes could prove decisive.
If Arsenal want European football on their agenda next season, they will have to dig deep on Thursday.