Villarreal Scare? Manchester United vs Villarreal Preview

Man Utd vs Villarreal

Manchester United face Villarreal on Wednesday night in the second matchday of the Champions League group stages. The Reds would be raring to bounce back after 3 defeats in the last 4 games against Young Boys, West Ham, and Aston Villa.

Here is all you need to know:

Match Info

Teams: Manchester United, Villarreal
Date: Wednesday, 29th September
KO Time: 8PM BST
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Stadium: Old Trafford
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Unai Emery
Referee: Felix Zwayer

Build Up

After losing to Young Boys away in the first round, getting a win against Villarreal at Old Trafford is a must for Manchester United to keep their hopes alive in the Champions League.

In addition, getting one over Unai Emery will be vital for Solskjaer.

Since Sunday’s loss to Aston Villa, Ole has faced a lot of criticism regarding his lack of tactics, most notably from ex-Manchester United legend Gary Neville, who on Sunday said, he sees a group of individuals on the pitch who need to come together as a team and find a style of play.

“I still look at them and think of them as a team who win games in moments. I look at Chelsea, Liverpool, and Man City, they are teams. They put team performances in. That’s not to say United never do, but Ole now has to get United into a team”, Neville added.

Versatile Villarreal

Villarreal are unbeaten this season, and their most impressive results have come up against Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, sharing one point each in both the away games.

Spaniard Gerard Moreno has been key for Villarreal. The striker scored 30 goals in all competitions last season, including the one against United in the Europa League final. However, he hasn’t scored so far this season and had picked up a muscular strain following a busy summer representing Spain at Euro 2020.

Both Pau Torres and Raul Albiol formed a formidable partnership when United faced the Yellow Submarines last time out, and the pair are set to start against United.

Villarreal always put up a low block against big teams like Manchester United and it will be difficult to break them down.

Team News

After being substituted due to injuries against Aston Villa, both Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are unlikely to start for United. Maguire had a calf injury and is expected to be out for 2-3 weeks, whereas Shaw trained separately from the main team on Tuesday.

In addition, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is suspended for Wednesday’s clash due to his red card last time out against Young Boys.

Interesting Facts

  • Manchester United have never lost their opening 2 matches of a major European campaign ever.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo is set to break yet another record for Champions League appeareances if he appears in his 178th match on Wednesday, beating Iker Casillas’ current record of 177.
  • The 4 Champions League meetings between Manchester United and Villarreal have all ended 0-0, making it the most played fixture to see no goals scored in the history of the competition.

Predicted Teams

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Telles, Lindelöf, Varane, Dalot; Matić, McTominay; Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood; Ronaldo

Villarreal (4-4-2): Rulli; Alfonso, Torres, Albiol, Foyth; Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros, Iborra; Moreno, Danjuma

Score Prediction

1-0 to United. With Old Trafford roaring on Wednesday night, I tip the Reds to score 1 goal late in the first half. However, United need to be wary of the crosses coming in toward Moreno in order to keep a clean sheet.

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Author: Devansh

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