Preview: Manchester United vs Villarreal – prediction, team news, lineups
Just over four months after losing the Europa League final to Villarreal, Manchester United will seek revenge on their Spanish counterparts when the two teams meet in the group stage of the Champions League on Wednesday night. Manchester United vs Villarreal stream, Manchester United vs Villarreal h2h, Manchester United vs Villarreal live stream, Manchester United vs Villarreal channel.
The Red Devils suffered a surprise 2-1 loss to the Young Boys in their first Group F match, while the Yellow Submarine drew 2-2 at home against Atalanta.
Manchester United vs Villarreal Match preview
Heading into the month of September, Manchester United fans expected their team to go through a relatively straightforward match schedule unscathed, however, the past few weeks have proven to be quite challenging for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who lost three of their last four games. in all competitions.
After securing a 4-1 win at home to Newcastle United shortly after the international break, their Champions League campaign got off to a nightmarish start when they were defeated 2-1 in Switzerland by outsiders in Group F, the Young Boys.
The Red Devils then came from behind to beat West Ham United 2-1 away from home in the Premier League, however, the Hammers got their revenge just days later by winning 1-0 at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup. United regained full strength at home against Aston Villa on Saturday, but the visitors claimed three well-earned points, putting pressure on Solskjaer’s shoulders.
Kourtney Hause’s header in the 88th minute condemned United to their second straight loss at home, however, he had a chance to salvage a point in injury time, only for Bruno Fernandes, generally so reliable from the penalty spot, he made 42 of his last 45 shots from the point. -to shoot his effort from 12 meters above the crossbar.
Currently, in the midst of a four-game streak at home in all competitions, United now turns its attention to the Champions League, where it faces a Villarreal side, which it has failed to beat in each of its five previous European meetings. In fact, all five matches against them ended in draws, four of which were goalless, except for last season’s Europa League final, in which the La Liga team won 11-10 on penalties after a 1- draw. 1 in 120 minutes.
Manchester United have a poor record against Spanish rivals in the Champions League, having failed to win any of their last seven games against them, with their last such victory against Real Sociedad in October 2013.
Furthermore, Solskjaer himself has an unwanted Champions League record as United boss, as the Norwegian is the only manager in club history to lose more than 50% of his matches in charge, losing seven of his 11 matches in the competition.
United have never lost their first two games in a major European competition, but if they come up short on Wednesday night, more questions will surely be asked about Solskjaer’s long-term future at the helm.
Villarreal extended their undefeated record in all competitions to seven games, when they played a goalless draw against Real Madrid last weekend.
Unai Emery’s team has already drawn five of its first six La Liga games; Only the Bundesliga team, Eintracht Frankfurt, have drawn as many games at this stage of the season in Europe’s five major leagues.
One of those draws came at home against Atalanta in their first match of the Champions League group stage, although they were leading until the 83rd minute when Robin Gosens tied for the visitors, forcing both sides to share the game. booty.
Villarreal are undefeated in their last 16 European matches in both the Europa League and the Champions League, the longest streak of any team today. Espanyol is the only Spanish team to have enjoyed the longest undefeated streak in European history, with 20 games without a defeat between September 2006 and November 2009.
There are many pros and cons to Emery taking the first set of matches from him. His stamina to achieve at least a draw and stay undefeated is to be commended, but having drawn four games without scoring, questions will arise regarding his threat going forward.
Last season’s top scorer, Gerard Moreno, who hit the net 30 times in all competitions, has yet to start working this season, although he has missed the last few games due to injury and is a big question for the match. Wednesday.
Emery has only won two of his seven coaching games against Man United, but if the former Arsenal boss is able to guide his team to a victory at Old Trafford, then the Yellow Submarine will find themselves in a promising position to advance out of the Group. . F, even at this early stage.
Solskjaer is set to make three forced changes to Man United’s four defenders when Aaron Wan-Bissaka is suspended, while Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw were forced to retire in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Aston Villa with the respective teams. calf and muscle injuries.
Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles are expected to start at full-back positions, while Victor Lindelof is set to get the nod ahead of former Villarreal center-back Eric Bailly, starting at the heart of the defense alongside Raphael Varane.
Marcus Rashford (shoulder) and Amad Diallo (thigh) remain on the sidelines due to injury and are not expected to return until mid-October.
Scott McTominay and Fred could maintain their midfield partnership, while Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, and Paul Pogba will likely start again in advanced midfield roles, with Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard set to start once again on the bench.
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to lead the lineup front and break Iker Casillas’ Champions League record for the most appearances in the competition’s history if he shows up on Wednesday, setting a new record of 178 games.
As for Villarreal, Gerard Moreno will be evaluated before kick-off to see if he has recovered from a muscle injury, while versatile midfielder Dani Raba also hesitates with a blow.
The Yellow Submarine will not feature Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze, who has yet to present this campaign due to a hip problem.
Emery is ready to name a similar team that drew with Real Madrid last weekend, which will likely see former Bournemouth winger Arnaut Danjuma start on the attack alongside Paco Alcacer and Yeremi Pino.
Francis Coquelin, who was sent off against Atalanta earlier this month, is suspended, so Manu Trigueros will join Etienne Capoue and Dani Parejo in a three-man midfield.
Center-back Pau Torres, who was previously linked with a move to Old Trafford, is expected to start at the heart of the defense alongside experienced Spaniard Raúl Albiol, protecting goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, who scored the winning penalty against him. United in Europe last season. League Final.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Ronaldo
Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, A. Moreno; Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros; Danjuma, Alcacer, Pino