Unai Emery is making his sixth appearance in the UEFA Europa League grand finals tonight, on Wednesday, May 26, when he’ll look to claim his fourth title in the last eight years. He has won this tournament three times with Sevilla and now hopes he can achieve the same success with Villarreal as they take on Manchester United at Stadion Miejski.
Villarreal vs Manchester Utd
Where: Stadion Miejski in Gdansk, Poland
When: Wednesday, May 26 – 21:00 CEST
Weather: Showers, 12°C
Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA)
It’s going to be a rainy night in Gdansk where Villarreal vs Manchester United will battle it out for the UEFA Europa League title. Such weather probably suits the English team more, but Villarreal are determined not to let the rain spoil their fun.
After all, winning the trophy would be this team’s biggest achievement in history. It would also earn them a ticket for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2009. Obviously, they aren’t going to lack any motivation tonight.
No Defeat in Europe for Villareal for More than Two Years
The last time Villarreal lost a game in the UEFA Europa League was in April 2019. They have since won 12 games and played a draw on two occasions. Their most recent victory happened against Arsenal (2-1), to which they added a 0-0 stalemate in the rematch.
Villarreal haven’t done too well in the Spanish La Liga – at least not as good as they could have. The Yellow Submarine finished the season in seventh, which secured them a place in the Europa Conference League qualifiers.
Obviously, this team’s ambitions are much higher than that – they wish to compete in and conquer the Champions League next season. The only way to get there is to win tonight.
The winner of the UEFA Europa League gets to play in the elite continental competition the following season. Beating Manchester Utd seems like a big ask, but it’s not like Villarreal lack talented players in the squad.
Gerard Moreno is Villarreal’s top scorer with 26 goals in La Liga and six in the Europa League. He also leads in assists across both competitions. Although he’s been in terrific form, Villarreal is not a one-man team. They have plenty of other players with even more experience in big matches than Moreno.
Carlos Bacca, Paco Alcacer, and Daniel Parejo are just some names that spring to mind. On top of that, you can’t forget about Villarreal’s manager Unai Emery, who used to be the boss of several heavyweight teams, including Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, and Sevilla, with who he has won the UEFA Europa League in three consecutive years (2013-2016).
Trouble at the Back for Manchester Utd
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is still struggling with an ankle injury. The man who had previously played every minute for his team before getting injured will probably miss tonight’s action as well.
Without the big man at the back, the Red Devils have not been doing too well in the back and are probably going to struggle to keep Moreno and co. at bay. In fact, in the four games in which he was absent, Manchester United conceded eight goals.
On the bright side, the Red Devils have been pretty good in the offence this year. Actually, Man United scored 73 goals this season in the Premier League, which is behind only Manchester City’s tally.
They have also been very efficient in scoring throughout the Europa League. In the semifinal, they produced eight goals in the two matches against AS Roma. Before that, they scored four goals in the doubleheader with Granada FC.
Villarreal vs Manchester Utd Betting Picks
The bookies have Manchester Utd priced as favorites to lift the trophy tonight. Still, their job isn’t going to be easy, especially against a team such as Villarreal.
Emery knows Manchester Utd well. He has reached this stage of the competition five times and won three finals. Due to Man Utd’s struggles in the back, we have reason to believe Villarreal have a huge opportunity to shock the world. At the very least, they should force a draw.
Prediction: Villarreal +0.50 Asian Handicap – 1.99 at SBO
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