MATCH PREVIEW: MANCHESTER UNITED VS VILLARREAL - RED DEVILS LOOK TO AVENGE LAST YEAR'S EUROPA LEAGUE DEFEAT

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In a rematch of last year’s Europa League showdown, Manchester United will be looking to get their revenge on the Spanish side Villarreal when the two sides meet again. The Red Devils were humbled by Emery’s side in the penalty shootout last summer but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be looking to take revenge.

 

 

Manchester United kicked off their Premier League campaign in sublime fashion but have unfortunately lost their touch in the recently concluded games. Although there have been instances of magic in United’s camp, there also have been glimpses of mediocrity on various occasions.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer facing the heat after the loss against Aston Villa, the Norweigan manager has a huge task lying in front of him.

 

 

Whenever Manchester United have faced Villarreal in the Champions League 4 out of 5 games have resulted in a goalless draw while the 5th game ended with the Yellow Submarine winning on penalties.

 

 

With Cristiano Ronaldo present in United’s squad, the Portuguese would look to re-write history in his favourite competition. After the unexpected loss in the opening fixture against Young Boys, the Red Devils would look to turn the result in their favour at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

 

 

Villarreal themselves haven’t had a fascinating start to their season. Currently 11th in the table, the Yellow Submarine have won just a single game out of the 6 played. Their star-striker Gerrard Moreno has lost his goal-scoring touch and Emery’s men are conceding unnecessary goals.

Their opening Champions League fixture ended in a 2-2 draw with Atalanta as they prepare themselves to face a known enemy. But Emery would surely know Manchester United won’t give them a second opportunity and the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo could hamper their dreams of triumph.

 

TEAM NEWS

Manchester United could have to make various changes in the backline while facing Villarreal. Both Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are doubtful for the clash.

The two English defenders picked up an injury and would want to recover before Wednesday’s clash. While Aaron Wan-Bisakka would be sitting it for the encounter after picking up a red card against Young Boys.

 

Manchester United’s Probable Starting Line-up: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Telles; Mctominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Ronaldo

 

Villareal’s Probable Starting Line-Up: Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Alfonso; Pino, Capoue, Parejo, Trigueros; Moreno, Dia

 

GAME CHANGERS

CRISTIANO RONALDO

Well, without a doubt, Manchester United’s supporters would be putting their money on talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese has had an exciting start to his second spell at Old Trafford bagging a couple of goals.

The sole scorer of United’s opening game fixture against Young Boys, Ronaldo would look to add to his tally while also securing three points for the Red Devils. Against the Yellow Submarine, the Portuguese has scored 13 goals in 15 appearances while also assisting on 5 occasions.

 

 

The striker is rejuvenated after his campaign at Juventus, and with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba providing inch-perfect deliveries, the veteran could trouble Villarreal’s defence.

Something that troubled Manchester United last summer was their lack of conversion of goal-scoring opportunities which haunted them in the latter stages. But with Ronaldo’s presence in the eleven, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer would be depending heavily on a grand performance by the Portuguese.

 

MANU TRIGUEROS

Villarreal’s man of the hour, 29-year-old Spanish midfielder Manu Trigueros has helped Villareal avoid embarrassments throughout the summer. The veteran has chipped in with crucial goals and assist in helping Emery’s men to either win three points or at least avenge a draw.

He scored Villarreal’s opening game against Atalanta as the Yellow Submarine snatched a point from the encounter. The dip in form of star striker Gerard Moreno has thrown the spotlight toward Trigueros.

 

 

The Spaniard is exceptional with the ball at his feet and could hurt the Red Devils on the counter. Considering the attacking quality present in United’s camp, Emery would instruct Trigueros and company to hit straight back at them when presented with the opportunity.

 

PREDICTIONS

While last year’s Europa League encounter was a jaw-dropping matchup, the replay could be on the same lines. Although not a final, the two teams need a victory to get their Champions League campaign back on track.

But with Ronaldo’s presence in United’s camp and considering his exceptional goal-scoring record, the Portuguese could create a difference between the two sides. FootTheBall predicts Manchester United to win 2-1 against Villarreal.

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