- Manchester United host Villarreal Wednesday in a rematch of last year’s Europa League final
- The two teams have met five times previously, with each meeting, including last year’s showpiece, technically ending in a draw
- Read on for betting odds, a full preview and best bets for this Champions League Matchday 2 clash
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea can rest easy – there will be no penalty shootout whatever the final result on Wednesday, September 29th at Old Trafford. It was the Spanish goalkeeper whose penalty miss proved decisive during last year’s Europa League final, won 11-10 by Villarreal on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time.
But the pressure will be firmly on De Gea and the rest of his United teammates here, with the Red Devils having now lost three of their last four games, including a stunning 2-1 loss in Switzerland to Young Boys on Matchday 1. The Yellow Submarine are unbeaten through six games of La Liga – although they have won only once, and also drew their Champions League opener, 2-2 at home to Atalanta.
Manchester United vs Villarreal Odds
|Manchester United vs Villarreal||MUN -1.5 (+155) | VIL +1.5 (-175)||MUN -205 | VIL +550 | DRAW +350||Ov 2.5 (-145) | Un 2.5 (+120)|
Odds as of September 28th at DraftKings
United Under the Gun
After conceding an injury-time winner in Bern two weeks ago, there is little margin for error here for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team. Already bottom of Group F, the Red Devils cannot afford another slip here, particularly after finishing third in last year’s Champions League group and falling into the Europa League.
The team’s form hasn’t improved massively since that game, however, with a hard-fought Premier League win at West Ham followed by a home loss to those same Hammers in the Carabao Cup a week ago, before last weekend’s home loss to Aston Villa making it back-to-back shutouts at Old Trafford.
2009 – Aston Villa secured their first Premier League victory over Manchester United in their last 18 meetings, since winning 1-0 at Old Trafford in December 2009. Shock. pic.twitter.com/4Qou6GNsFy
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 25, 2021
Solsksjaer will have further problems on Wednesday as center-back Harry Maguire will miss the game with an injury, although influential fullback Luke Shaw could return.
Solskjær: "Luke [Shaw] has been in today so I’ll give him a chance to be involved [against Villarreal], he didn’t train with the team. Harry [Maguire] is more or less definitely out, it doesn’t look good. It's his calf, that might take a few weeks." #mulive
— utdreport (@utdreport) September 28, 2021
Goals In Short Supply
While Cristiano Ronaldo was brought in specifically to score goals – and has largely done just that – finding the back of the net has been a rare event of late. Jesse Lingard’s winner at West Ham makes him the only player other than Ronaldo to score in the past four games.
Unai Emery (Villarreal coach):
"Manchester United are the favorites in the group. United is the same we faced in the Europa League final last season, but we must add Cristiano Ronaldo, Varane and Sancho." pic.twitter.com/CTJJOLFpkL
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) September 28, 2021
And goals have been at a premium in the head-to-head series against Villarreal too, with Edinson Cavani’s second-half strike in last season’s Europa League final representing the lone United goal in the five all-time competitive games between the sides.
While Old Trafford was once rightly considered something of a fortress for Manchester United in Europe, that reputation is listing somewhat of late. The Red Devils have lost three of their last five home games in the Champions League, and five of their last nine, with just three wins over that span.
🥴 Manchester United have only won half of their 46 Premier League home matches under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pic.twitter.com/qRVMvESzuN
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) September 27, 2021
And Spanish clubs have been anything but easy opposition for the three-time European champions, with United winning just 16 of their 62 UEFA-accredited matches against Spanish sides.
Yellow Submarine’s Silver Lining
Although Villarreal was unable to hold on for a victory against Atalanta on Matchday 1, conceding with seven minutes to go and hanging on with 10 men after the dismissal of Francis Coquelin, they could take some comfort. The draw ended a run of seven straight defeats in the competition, although most of those came in the 2011-12 season when they lost all six round-robin matches.
The draw also kept alive Villarreal’s unbeaten streak against non-Spanish opposition in European competition, with the Europa League holders boasting a record of 16 wins and 10 draws in their last 26 games.
Manchester United vs Villarreal 2021-22 Stats
|4-1-1||2021-22 League Record||1-5-0|
|6.7||Expected Goals Against||6.7|
|WLWLL||Form This Season (All Competitions)||DDDWD|
Little Joy In England
Against English clubs, the Yellow Submarine has an all-time record of five wins, nine draws and five losses, with four of those losses coming in visits to English clubs.
The team has struggled to score on its travels too, with Villarreal failing to find the net in six of its last seven trips to English stadiums. Unai Emery’s team has become something of a draw specialist six games into the Spanish league season, with the team being held on five occasions versus just one win, scoring just six goals in the process and conceding three.
Villarreal will be without striker Gerard Moreno and midfield Francis Coquelin for the Champions League clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Former Arsenal man Coquelin is suspended for the crucial group stage fixture while Moreno is absent with injury. pic.twitter.com/wHT6cd0gSr
— Manuel Menacho (@MenachoManuel1) September 28, 2021
Its chances of scoring on Wednesday will take a further hit with the unavailability of striker Gerardo Moreno, the scorer of Villarreal’s goal in the Europa League final, while former Arsenal midfielder Coquelin will be suspended for this match following his red card last time out.
Best bets: Draw (+350); Under 2.5 (+120)