Manchester United vs Villarreal | Wednesday 26th May 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
From the National League Premier clash at the Walks, Kings Lynn to the Europa League final at the Stadion Miejski, Gdańsk, proving once again that no stone is left unturned, no game considered too big or too small to bring you the Bet of the Day.
A fully rested Manchester United battle it out with the King of the Europa League, Unai Emery and his Villarreal side for not only the prestigious piece of European silverware but arguably an equally rewarding place in Pot 1 of next season’s UCL group stage draw.
The 49-year-old Spaniard brings a phenomenal record in this competition having managed a side in the UEL on seven occasions, incredibly getting to the semi-finals six times, making four finals and lifting the trophy on a joint record three occasions, he has also masterminded a fantastic run by his side to the showpiece in Poland this term.
The Yellow Submarine have won 12 of their 14 Europa League games this campaign, drawing only a group clash in Israel and the second leg of the semi-final at the Emirates which was all they needed to progress to the final – that game was also incredibly the only time they have drawn a blank in the competition this season – star striker Gerard Moreno leading the way with a tasty ten goal involvements.
Villarreal have been fast starters in Europe this term with their last seven UEL goals all coming in the first half and scoring before the interval in each of their last seven ties prior to that stalemate with Arsenal, an interesting dynamic when we consider Man United have scored 13 of their 18 goals (72%) in this competition in the second 45.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have now also seen both teams score in their last seven competitive fixtures and with Harry Maguire looking set to miss a fifth successive match that backline has a vulnerable look about it again.
The performances of Eric Bailly over the last few games will be giving the Norwegian manager some headaches prior to the big match, especially in the recent clash with Liverpool where United’s infogol xGA was a mighty 3.73 when they shipped four goals and when the former Villarreal man partnered Maguire in the last round conceding three in the second leg against Roma with a xGA of a colossal 4.68.
As the curtain came down on the EPL season Sunday, Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe were given an audition to win the race to partner Victor Lindelof, and performed adequately enough, but a potent Villarreal outfit will surely provide a sterner examination than an out of form Wolves who lacked quality in the final third especially after the departure of an injured Adama Traore.
The last six UEL finals have produced an average of 4 total goals per match and I’m expecting both attacks to exploit the weaknesses of the defences to continue that trend, ending a run of four successive draws between these two clubs in the process.
My Bet of the Day is for both teams to score in what promises to be an entertaining finale to this particular European competition.
Manchester United vs Villarreal – Both Teams To Score (10/11 SkyBet)