Villarreal v Man Utd Tips: Best bets for the Europa League final
Wednesday night at 20:00 GMT, Stadion Energa Gdańsk plays host for the Europa League final between Villarreal and Manchester United.
Villarreal head into the final off the back of a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid at the weekend, resulting in the yellow submarine falling into 7th place where they will fight for European football next season via the Europa conference league qualification. A win here will see them return to the biggest stage of them all in the Champions League and would see Unai Emery claim his 4th Europa League trophy since 2014. Danger man Samuel Chukwueze will remain on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury picked up in the 2-1 aggregate win in the Semi-final over Arsenal which is a big blow for the Spanish side.
Another Europa League final for Manchester United could see them head back to England with silverware for the first time since defeating Ajax in the final back in 2017 under Jose Mourinho. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be without key defender Harry Maguire, with Axel Tuanzebe or Eric Bailly likely to step into that crucial centre back role.
Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Trigueros, Capoue, Parejo, Gomez; Moreno, Bacca
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Tuanzebe, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba; Cavani
Villarreal v Man Utd Tips
Villarreal v Man Utd Odds
Both Bruno Fernandes and Gerard Moreno have been crucial in each sides attack this season and I fancy them both to fire a few shots at goal in Gdansk.
Bruno loves shooting and pops them off from all angles which is great when backing him for shots. In the Premier League this season he averaged 3.3 shots per game. He has also been firing shots at a similar rate in the Europa League, registering 24 shots in only 8 matches (3.00 per game), hitting the 3+ mark in 7 of those 8 matches.
Moreno has very similar numbers and against a defence unlikely to feature main centre back Harry Maguire, I expect him to get a few chances. In his last 16 La Liga starts he has registered 50 shots, an average of 3.13 shots per game, managing to hit the 2+ mark in 14 of those 16 matches. In 8 starts in the Europa League this season, he is averaging 3.38 shots per game, managing to also hit this 2+ mark in all 8!
Who else can we be backing for a booking in a game of this magnitude other than the Scottish International Scott McTominay? The central midfielder has been a master of avoiding bookings in the earlier stages of the season, but seems to have lost his touch in recent times.
Only the Brazilian Fred has committed more fouls per game for Manchester United than McTominay this season, and at double the price, McTominay is definitely the value selection. Picking up 6 cards in his last 13 appearances (one of those a 7 minute cameo v Brighton), his fouls have definitely come to fruition and 4/1 implying a 20% chance looks whopping value in a final that he will be desperate to prove himself on the big stage.
With the season coming to an end, I have made a very optimistic longshot at a huge price. Following on from my selections above which I cannot leave out, I have added Capoue for a booking and Pogba for 2 or more shots.
Capoue absolutely loves a booking and will have the busy job of trying to keep key man Bruno Fernandes quiet. In his last 21 starts, he has gone into the book 7 times (33%) and given the magnitude of the match and opposition, this looks great to include in the longshot.
Pogba is set to start in his more recent LW role for Manchester United which sees him getting into the box much more often than normal. Along with being a great threat in the air, he often shoots from range. He has hit this 2+ shot mark in 5 of his last 6 Premier League starts and looks a nice price at a shade of odds to be included in my longshot.