Manchester United v Villarreal : UEFA Champion’s League Match, Team News, Goal Scorers and Stat
Date: Wednesday 29th September, 2021
Time: 8:00 pm
Stadium Old Trafford
Referee Felix Zwayer (Germany)
Manchester United will have to make do without the services of club captain Harry Maguire who picked up an injury in the Aston Villa defeat last weekend. Luke Shaw was also injured in that game and is unlikely to future either. Marcus Rashford and Adam Diallo are the other two injury-related absentees for the Red Devils. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is suspended after his red card against Young Boys.
David de Gea is a certain starter in goal after showing impressive form in the new season. Raphael Varane ought to be in line for a change of partners, with Victor Lindelof expected to come in for the injured Maguire. Diogo Dalot should slot in at right-back in Wan-Bissaka’s absence, while Alex Telles should feature on the left.
Scott McTominay will have a key role to play in the middle of the park, cutting out counter-attacks from the visitors. He should be paired up alongside Paul Pogba, with the Frenchman tasked with providing the chance-creation for the 20-time English champions. He will share the creative burden with Bruno Fernandes, who will line up as the No. 10.
The attacking unit should comprise Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho out on the flanks, with the latter hoping to find some form after a difficult start. Cristiano Ronaldo will spearhead the Manchester United attack with the likes of Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani providing options from the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Dalot, Varane, Lindelof, Telles;
McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo
Villarreal have a number of injury issues to deal with for their trip to England as the likes of Samu Chukwueze, Dani Raba, Gerard Moreno and Yeremi Pino are set to miss out while Francis Coquelin is ruled out due to suspension. Juan Foyth, who picked up an injury against Real Madrid at the weekend, has returned to training and is likely to be available.
Emery will set his team up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Geronimo Ruill manning the goal for the Yellow Submarine. With Foyth fit, he should get the nod at right-back, while Alfonso Pedraza ought to feature ahead of Alberto Moreno at left-back. Raul Albiol and Pau Torres should pair up at the heart of the defence.
Etienne Capoue will be tasked with keeping a close watch on Bruno Fernandes and limiting his output on the ball while the attacking thrust from the centre of the park ought to come from Dani Parejo and Manu Trigueros.
Moi Gomez and Arnaut Danjuma, who has been linked with Liverpool, should start as the wingers on the right and left sides, respectively and will pose a major threat going forward for Manchester United. Paco Alcacer will be the man leading the line for the La Liga giants.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros; Gomez, Alcacer, Danjuma
The five meetings in European competition between Manchester United and Villarreal have all ended in draws, with four of them goalless, except for last season’s UEFA Europa League final (1-1), which the Spaniards won 11-10 on penalties.
The four UEFA Champions League clashes between Manchester United and Villarreal have all finished 0-0, making it the most played fixture in the history of the competition to see no goals scored.
Manchester United are winless in their last seven games against Spanish teams in the UEFA Champions League (D3 L4), with their last such victory coming against Real Sociedad back in October 2013 (1-0).
Villarreal are unbeaten in their last 16 major UEFA European games (W12 D4) across the Europa League and Champions League, the longest current run of any side. The only Spanish team to have a longer run of unbeaten games in UEFA European history is Espanyol between September 2006 and November 2019 (20 in a row).
Cristiano Ronaldo will break Iker Casillas’ record for UEFA Champions League appearances if he appears in this match, setting a new record of 178 games. However, Ronaldo has never scored against Villarreal in four previous appearances against them in the competition, only facing Lille and Benfica as often without finding the net (also four games against them).
Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Villarreal
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