Match Preview: Manchester United vs. Villarreal

Villarreal and Manchester United will be seeking revenge against their Spanish counterparts when the two sides lock horns in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday night.

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).

There have been 22 instances of a manager taking charge of 10+ games of a single English club in UEFA Champions League history – Ole Gunnar Solskjær at Manchester United is the only manager to lose more than 50% of his games in charge (64% – lost seven of 11 games).

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).

Manchester United Team News:

Solskjaer is set to make three enforced changes to Man United’s back four as Aaron Wan-Bissaka is suspended, while Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw were forced off in the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday with respective calf and muscle injuries.

Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles are expected to start in the full-back positions, while Victor Lindelof is set to get the nod ahead of former Villarreal centre-back Eric Bailly, starting in the heart of the defense alongside Raphael Varane.

Marcus Rashford (shoulder) and Amad Diallo (thigh) remain on the sidelines due to injury and are not expected to return until the middle of October.

Scott McTominay and Fred could retain their midfield partnership, while Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba will likely start again in advanced midfield roles, with Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard set to begin on the bench once again.

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to lead the line up front and will break Iker Casillas’ Champions League record for the most appearances in the competition’s history if he features on Wednesday, setting a new record of 178 games.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Ronaldo

About Vince Rosetta 202 Articles
A life long Manchester United fan based in the US.

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