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A decent campaign would be transformed into a great one if Manchester United were to get their hands on the Europa League trophy.
Finishing the best of the rest behind Manchester City in the Premier League is progress of sorts but, two-and-a-half years into the job, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could really do with some silverware.
It’ll be far from a good ebening for the Red Devils if Villarreal boss Unai Emery works his Europa League magic once again.
The former Arsenal gaffer won the competition three years in a row between 2014 and 2016 with Sevilla and denied us an all-English final this season by dumping the Gunners out in the last round.
Wednesday 20:00 – Man Utd v Villarreal
BT Sport 1
A precious spot in next year’s Champions League is on offer to the winner although United guaranteed theirs by coming second in the Premier League. Villarreal, on the other hand, were seventh in La Liga which was only good enough to ‘earn’ a dreaded place in the brand new Conference League. They’ll be desperate to avoid taking part in that.
All four games in history between these two clubs have finished goalless so we could be in for a long night of extra time and penalties…
Europa League Final Team News
Harry Maguire is a major doubt having missed the last two weeks with ankle ligament damage. He travelled to Gdansk with the rest of the squad but sat out Tuesday’s final training session so don’t expect him to feature.
Anthony Martial and Phil Jones are long-term absentees otherwise a fully-fit squad should be available to Solskjaer.
Villarreal are sweating on the fitness of forward Samuel Chukwueze after limping out of the semi-final second leg against Arsenal. Tottenham loanee Juan Foyth is also a doubt having missed all of May’s fixtures with a muscle injury.
Former Spurs and Watford ace Etienne Capoue is back from suspension but ex-Leicester midfielder Vicente Iborra remains sidelined with a serious knee problem
Europa League Final Stats
- Manchester United have kept four clean sheets in eight Europa League fixtures since dropping into the competition from the Champions League in February.
- The Red Devils have found the back of the net 18 times in the competition this season – with Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani both scoring five goals each.
- Villarreal progressed through the group stage on their way to the final and are unbeaten in all 14 games in the Europa League this term.
- Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer are the Yellow Submarine’s joint-top scorers in the tournament with six strikes each.
Europa League Final Prediction
Paddy Power footie tipster Andrew Cunneen has three best bets for tonight’s Europa League final – including a long-shot method of victory.
Short-Price Punt: Half Time Result – The Draw
“The auld feeling-the-opposition-out cliché will be dished out more times than a greasy chip butty in Sheffield.”
Value Play: Under 1.5 Goals
“Manchester United claimed more points than any other side from a losing position in the Premier League last season, but they rarely piled on when they did go ahead and I could easily see that happening here given Edinson Cavani is the one outlier from their psyche.”
Long Shot: Man United to Win on Penalties
“If it gets beyond the ninety, both sides will be so tired that it’ll resemble a kickabout in your local park on a Sunday morning after a late-night PPV watchalong party with a now-empty keg. And if it comes to a shootout, United have by far an away the best marksmen and strikers of a football in this matchup.”
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