After losing 1-0 against Aston Villa on Saturday, Manchester United have lost three of their last four games. The Red Devils are out of the Carabao Cup, they’ve slipped in the title race and their Champions League loss at Young Boys makes them really vulnerable in Europe.
With Atalanta and Villarreal in their group, United face the risk of dropping into the Europa League for the second season in a row. Last term that worked out for them in their run to the final of that competition, but Solskajer’s side were beaten on penalties by Villarreal.
The Spanish side have grown from that Europa League success and they’re targeting a place in the last 16 of this competition this term. They’ve got European pedigree after last season’s success, while the Spaniards are proving tough to beat this term.
They started the season by taking Chelsea to penalties in the Super Cup in Belfast. Since then, Villarreal have gone unbeaten in seven matches (W1 D6). That includes holding Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Atalanta to draws this term. They seem capable of frustrating this United side.
The five previous meetings between these two have finished level, including four 0-0s. The Europa League meeting in May was another dull affair and that should suit the visitors. They’ll be looking at United’s consecutive 1-0 home defeats and be expecting to hold firm as the pressure grows on the Red Devils.
Villarreal are unbeaten in their last 16 European games (W12 D4), the longest current run of any side. Meanwhile, Manchester United are winless in their last seven games against Spanish teams in this competition. With United winning only one of their last five games in this competition (L4) they shouldn’t be such heavy favourites. Take the value in Villarreal double chance, while another 0-0 is a real possibility.
Content created and supplied by: Dominic (via Opera News )