- Estadio de la Ceramica
- BT Sport ESPN
- Under 2.5 goals have been scored in six of Villarreal’s last nine Europa League fixtures.
- Villarreal have kept six clean sheets in their last nine Europa League matches
- Under 2.5 goals have been notched in three of Dinamo Zagreb’s last four Europa League games.
- Villarreal have won six of their last seven games in all competitions.
Villarreal in the driving seat
Villarreal hold all the cards ahead of their quarter-final second-leg clash with Dinamo Zagreb this week after the Spanish side established a lead in the opening act of the teams’ double-header in Croatia last week.
A solitary Gerard Moreno spot-kick just before the break was enough for the La Liga outfit to squeeze a narrow victory out of a tough game in Zagreb, and Villarreal are huge favourites to get the job done in the second-leg as a result.
Coach Unai Emery chose to rest a number of key players at the weekend with one eye on Thursday’s game, and though his decision backfired when Villarreal were turned over 2-1 at home by Osasuna, the ex-Arsenal boss has fresher players to call on this week.
Dinamo have a mountain to climb
Despite their best efforts, Dinamo couldn’t find a way past Villarreal keeper Gerónimo Rulli in Zagreb last week, and the Croatians could find breaching their opponents’ rearguard just as difficult at task in the return fixture.
Dinamo have won only four of their last seven matches, which is a poor return for a team used to stringing multiple victories together, and it looks as though Zagreb are wilting a little at the pressure-filled business end of the campaign.
Few goals likely in Spain
There was little to separate Dinamo Zagreb and Villarreal in their low-scoring first-leg skirmish in Croatia last week, and their climactic meeting in Spain has the makings of another battle for inches.
Villarreal have conceded just one goal in their last four Europa League home fixtures, and having kept Dinamo Zagreb off the scoresheet in the Croatian capital, the Yellow Submarine can use their strong defence as a platform for further success on Thursday.
With Raul Albiol and Pau Torres paired in a formidable centre-back partnership, Villarreal have kept six clean sheets in their last nine assignments in the competition overall, and it’s also worth noting that under 2.5 goals landed in half a dozen of the same games.
The same market appeals for Thursday’s crucial second-leg, while our 1-0 correct score prediction tips Villarreal to match the result they secured at the Stadion Maksimir seven days ago.