Villarreal welcome Manchester United to Estadio de la Ceramica in a huge Group F clash in 2021-22 UEFA Champions League.
Victory would see Villarreal move above Man Utd into top spot with one match left, whereas the Red Devils can stay top with a win and potentially put their qualification destiny into their own hands – despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.
Gerard Moreno is Villarreal’s only injury concern with a hamstring injury, although he won’t be risked until match fit despite having recently returned to training.
Man Utd could be without Luke Shaw as the left-back suffered a second suspected concussion in consecutive matches, following Saturday’s Premier League defeat at Watford.
Raphael Varane (hamstring), Paul Pogba (quad), Mason Greenwood (Coronavirus) and Edinson Cavani (tendon) are ruled out.
- Villarreal are winless in five previous Champions League meetings against Manchester United (D4, L1).
- Man Utd have failed to score in two previous Champions League away visits to Villarreal (D2), having suffered goalless draws on both occasions in September 2005 and November 2008.
- Villarreal have scored twice in both of their home matches in Group F this season (W1, D1), with Arnaut Danjuma netting the second goal in both games.
- Five of Utd’s eight goals in Group F have been scored by Cristiano Ronaldo.
- United have lost just one of eight previous matches refereed by Germany’s Felix Brych (W4, D3, L1).
With just three wins in their last eight matches across all competitions of which two came in their last two European matches, Villarreal know that victory here would see them through and can take heart from two previous goalless draws at home to Man Utd.
Utd though come into this match off the match of their most shambolic display in years because they simply looked demotivated throughout their defeat, especially with little quality in even the basic skills which was telling with numerous wasted chances and a botched defence.
Victory in this match therefore is imperative for the visitors for the sake of their confidence if anything else, yet Villarreal will be up for this if are able to get physically direct and control this match regardless of who is in charge of Utd who however have scored in every away game this season.
Goals therefore feel like a certainty but Villarreal should have enough to get the job done if are able to impose physical and direct football on United.
Prediction: Villarreal 2-1 Manchester United
Result: Villarreal 0-2 Manchester United