- Stadion Energa Gdansk
- BT Sport 1
- Manchester United have won three of their last four meetings with Spanish opposition
- Edinson Cavani has scored nine goals in his last ten appearances for Manchester United.
- Manchester United have conceded in each of their last seven matches
Solskjaer set to end silverware drought
The stage is set in Gdansk for a season-defining match for both Villarreal and Manchester United. Victory would allow the winners to look back on a successful season, while defeat would have them ruing a missed opportunity and reflecting on a disappointing campaign.
For Villarreal – whose previous best in the Europa League was three semi-final appearances between 2003 and 2016 – this is an unfamiliar position. However, for manager Unai Emery it’s a completely different story.
The Spaniard is the most successful manager in Europa League history after winning it three times in a row with Sevilla. He knows how to win a cup final, but his side are justified underdogs as they face Premier League runners-up Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not have the trophy-winning pedigree of his counterpart but his Manchester United side have eliminated Real Sociedad, AC Milan and Roma to get this far and they should have more than enough about them to see off a Villarreal outfit that have lost four of their last nine games.
Cavani can fire Man Utd to glory
Villarreal’s three attackers – Moreno, Alcacer and Bacca – have rightly received plenty of plaudits this season but there’s one man that has shone brightly in recent months and he doesn’t wear the canary-yellow of Villarreal.
Edinson Cavani’s work rate and movement has breathed fresh life into the Manchester United attack and his stunning long-range chip in front of the Stretford End against Fulham further endeared him to the locals.
He is almost certain to start up front for Solskjaer’s side and, with five goals in four Europa League games and nine in his last ten in all competitions, he’s a great shout for the anytime goalscorer market.
Gdansk ready for goals
In some cases the high-pressure situation might result in a cagey affair, but that’s not expected in Gdansk. Manchester United have failed to score in just one of their last 18 competitive games but the absence of captain Harry Maguire has had a massive effect on their back line.
They have shipped 14 goals in their last seven matches and six of these have breached the over 2.5 goals line. The shaky centre-back pairing of Victor Lindelof and Axel Tuanzebe are likely to face the Europa League two top scorers in Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer, so backing the overs is recommended.
Pogba the standout booking bet
Paul Pogba may be playing in a more advanced role for United of late, but that hasn’t stopped him ending up in the referee’s notebook.
The Frenchman has been booked in three of his last four Europa League games and makes just shy of two fouls per game in this competition.
He’s worth backing to be cautioned on Wednesday night and features in our 28/1 Villarreal vs Manchester United Bet Builder tip, which you can back below.
Villarreal set for Europa League heartbreak
Villarreal must be applauded for their run to the final, but they have undoubtedly had the easier route to Gdansk. Arsenal, who finished eighth in the Premier League, have been their toughest opponents in the competition but Manchester United represent a significant leap in quality.
The favourites have only lost four games away from Old Trafford this season and it would be a huge disappointment if they lost this one.
They are unlikely to completely throw caution to the wind and the absence of Harry Maguire will be felt at the back, so a narrow 2-1 win for the Red Devils is recommended as a correct score prediction.
Villarreal injuries and team news
Samuel Chukwueze is expected to miss out for Villarreal along with Vicente Iborra and Spurs loanee Juan Foyth, while Manchester United’s potential summer transfer target – Pau Torres – will line up at the back.
Star player Gerard Moreno will be the first name on the team sheet up front, with Paco Alcacer expected to edge out Carlos Bacca as his striking partner in Emery’s 4-4-2 system.
Villarreal predicted lineup: Rulli; Pedraza, Torres, Albiol, Gaspar; Trigueros, Parejo, Capoue, Pino; Alcacer, Moreno
Manchester United injuries and team news
Harry Maguire is a major doubt and unlikely to make the cut for Manchester United, with Axel Tuanzebe likely to partner Victor Lindelof at the back. Anthony Martial and Phil Jones are the only other confirmed absentees in a side that will be almost unrecognisable from the one that faced Wolves on Sunday.
Edinson Cavani is almost certain to lead the line ahead of Bruno Fernandes, with Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford expected to take up the wide positions ahead of Fred and McTominay.
Manchester United predicted lineup: De Gea; Shaw, Lindelof, Tuanzebe, Wan-Bissaka; Fred, McTominay; Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani
Best special offer for Villarreal vs Manchester United
- Both teams have scored in each of Manchester United’s last seven matches
- Nine of Villarreal’s last 12 fixtures have featured at least three goals
Spotlight Insights combine the best data and editorial expertise to give you an extra angle.