The Europa League semi-finalists - ranked

16 April 2021 03:00

We're down to the final four of this season's Europa League and Manchester United, Arsenal, Roma and Villarreal are all at least 180 minutes from reaching a major European final.

Not only does the showpiece event in Gdansk offer the opportunity for these sides to taste silverware this season, but for the majority of them it represents their only realistic opportunity of securing Champions League qualification.

Arsenal, Roma and Villarreal are all well off the pace in the hunt for a top four spot in their respective leagues, and so Europa League glory would be huge for them given the financial riches that come with playing in Europe's premier competition.

So, let's take a look at all four teams vying it out for Europa League glory as 90min ranks the sides remaining in the competition.

4. Roma

Roma advanced from a tough quarter-final tie with Ajax | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Serie A outfit Roma did superbly to overcome Ajax in their quarter-final tie, though their form this season has been patchy at best (much to the detriment of 90min's resident Roman, Max Cooper).

Their leaky defence has cost them a genuine shot at Champions League qualification via their league standing and a two-legged semi-final tie against a team with Manchester United's firepower looks a tall order.

Nevertheless, there's goals in their side from all over the pitch and they're likely to cause Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team some problems, but how many they can keep out at the other end is likely to determine whether they progress.

Enter stage left, Chris Smalling.

3. Arsenal

Arsenal were unstoppable in the first half against Slavia Prague | Martin Sidorjak/Getty Images

If you could guarantee the Arsenal that turned up in the first half of their second leg with Slavia Prague was going to turn up against Villarreal, then they'd be easy favourites for the tie - but you can't.

The Gunners have been hugely inconsistent this season - losing as many home games in the Premier League as they've won - and because of that you just can't confidently predict they'll make it through their clash with Villarreal.

A meeting with former boss Unai Emery awaits - another intriguing subplot as he returns to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since his 2019 departure.

2. Villarreal

Unai Emery comes up against his old employers in the semi-final | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Speak of the devil.

Emery has made Villarreal very difficult to beat this season, though turning draws into wins has proven to be their downfall.

The Spanish side have drawn 13 of their 30 league outings so far this season - more than any other side in La Liga - though their ability to grind out draws could be a huge positive if they can take a win from one of the legs of their semi-final with the Gunners.

Emery's track record in the Europa League is second to none and he could be the difference as he comes up against his former employers.

1. Manchester United

Manchester United are definitely favourites for the competition | Visionhaus/Getty Images

It's difficult to look beyond United when considering which side is best equipped to win this season's Europa League.

Solskjaer's men have come on leaps and bounds during this campaign, and their place in next season's Champions League is already as good as secured via their position in the Premier League.

Given they don't rely as heavily on Europa League victory as the other three sides left in the competition, that could put them at a very slight disadvantage in terms of motivation, though the talent within their squad should see them make it to the final and you'd fancy them against either Villarreal or Arsenal.

Source: 90min