Arsenal favourites for Europa League, says Valencia's Marcelino


Valencia coach Marcelino insists the pressure will be on Arsenal when his side take on the Gunners in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals.

Toni Lato and Dani Parejo were on target for Los Che as they saw off Villarreal 2-0 on Friday (AEST) to secure a comfortable 5-1 aggregate success in the last eight.

Marcelino had been less than impressed by his side's showing in the first leg, but was rewarded by a dominant display at Mestalla.

A last-four meeting against Arsenal – led by three-time Europa League winner and former Valencia boss Unai Emery – is their reward, and Marcelino insists the Premier League side must be considered as the favourites.

"Arsenal fight to get into the Champions League, with a coach who knows us perfectly, they are one of the favourites," Marcelino told a news conference.

"But anything can happen in the semi-finals. At the same time, [the final in] Baku is a long way away."

Valencia endured a difficult start to the campaign, but Marcelino's side sit just three points off the top four in La Liga, with a Copa del Rey final against Barcelona to come.

"We are proud of the performances of the squad, we are in a semi-final and in a final, and we are one win away from fourth," Marcelino added.

"Winning in Seville [against Real Betis on Monday] would put us in a very good situation."

Source Omnisport