Villarreal vs Manchester United; Devils to edge Europa League Final
Updated: 2nd March 2024
2020-21 Europa League final preview: Villarreal vs Manchester United – Stadion Energa, Gdansk – Wednesday, 26 My 2021 – 20:00 hrs. BST
Manchester United get ready to take on Villarreal in Wednesday's Europa League final at Gdansk, Poland.
While Unai Emery's Yellow Submarine sent his former club Arsenal packing in the semi-finals, United blasted eight past Roma over two legs in the final four stage. Villarreal's domestic campaign ended on a sour note with a 2-1 defeat to La Liga runners-up Real Madrid on Saturday, while United completed an unbeaten away-games record in the English Premier League when they got past Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Villarreal Europa League form: WWWWWD
Villarreal form across all competitions: WDLWWL
Manchester United Europa League form: DWWWWL
Manchester United from across all competitions: LWLLDW
Villarreal boss Emery has cast doubts over the appearance of Nigerian attacker Samuel Chukwueze having failed to play in Saturday's clash against Real Madrid.
Tottenham loanee Juan Foyth may not be fit on time owing to a hamstring issue sustained against Arsenal and Mario Gaspar should take his place down the right flank.
As far as the goalkeeper's slot goes, Emery may prefer Sergio Asenjo to Geronimo Rulli given the latter's unconvincing show in the semi-finals. Paco Alcacer can hope to make a comeback and partner Albeeto Moreno upfront in attack.
As for United, defensive mainstay Harry Maguire is definitely out of the Gdansk clash with a serious ankle injury.
Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof should thus partner up at the back while Phil Jones misses out once more. For the custodian's spot, David de Gea is expected to get the nod over Dean Henderson.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw should be back in defensive roles after being rested against the Wolves, while Fred will start in the midfield alongside Scott McTominay.
Anthony Martial is ruled out for Wednesday night's clash and Solksjaer could effect an overhaul of the forward line that could see Amad Diallo and Daniel James make way for Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.
The well-rested Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani will both be pushing for starts but with five goals in his last three European outings, the latter should get the nod.
Villarreal probable starting XI:
Asenjo (goal); Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Trigueros, Capoue, Parejo, Yeremy; Moreno, Alcacer
Manchester United probable starting XI:
De Gea (goal); Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba; Cavani
But with United having far more attacking players in their ranks now, a goal or two can surely be expected.
Moreno & co could breach a suspect United defense what with Maguire missing from the back but the Red Devils quartet of Fernandes, Pogba, Rashford and Cavani could be a bit too hot for the Spanish side to handle.
Bookmakers online odds point to a Manchester United win and the correct score forecast of 2-1 at 15/2 is worth a punt.
Manchester United to win: 5/6
Villarreal to win: 15/4
Man Utd 1-0: 11/2
Draw 1-1: 11/2
Man Utd 2-0: 7/1
Man Utd 2-1: 15/2 (predicted scoreline)
Draw 0-0: 15/2
Villarreal 1-0: 11/1
Man Utd 3-0: 14/1
Villarreal 2-1: 14/1
Man Utd 3-1: 14/1
Draw 2-2: 14/1
Villarreal 2-0: 22/1
Man Utd 3-2: 28/1
Man Utd 4-0: 33/1
Man Utd 4-1: 33/1
Villarreal 3-1: 40/1
Edinson Cavani: 13/8
Bruno Fernandes: 13/8 (SkyBet)
Gerard Moreno: 12/5
Marcus Rashford: 15/8
Mason Greenwood: 13/8
Paco Alcacer: 12/5
Paul Pogba: 9/2
Yeremi Pino: 5/1
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