Foot Predictions shows the Europa League clash on Thursday between Red Bull Salzburg and Villarreal, including hunches, preview and possible lineups.
THE Europa League elimination phase starts on Thursday, with Red Bull Salzburg welcoming Villarreal for the Red Bull Arena in the first leg of an intriguing knockout round.
The visitors made their way through the group stage, losing just two points, while the Austrian side withdrew from the Champions League, finishing third in their group, resulting in a ranking in the Europa League final 32.
The home team was engaged in a tough battle in the Champions League, after being in a group with Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid, but managed to secure third place with a 3-1 victory over Moscow’s Lokomotiv, the that allowed him to compete in the Europa League.
Jesse MarschThe German team has remained dominant domestically this season, currently on their way to their seventh consecutive Austrian title.
Die Roten Bullen are three points ahead of Rapid Vienna, in second place, after winning 13 of the 17 matches played in the championship.
This is due in large part to their strong attack history, with neither team getting close to their 54 goals in 17 games.
Meanwhile, only two teams from the Austrian first division suffered less than the 18 they launched, showing that Marsch has built a balanced and effective team.
They kept their place at the top of the table with a dramatic victory the last time, when they returned from a 2-1 loss 10 to 10 minutes from the end.
Mergim Berisha drew for Salzburg before Patson Daka scored his second in the game to put Marsch’s side ahead, with Sekou Koita doubling the advantage in discounts to see the team from the Austrian capital register a 4-2 victory.
The result extends Die Roten Bullen’s winning streak to six games in all competitions, and they hope to extend that to seven with a win in the first leg clash on Wednesday.
Villarreal led the Europa League group with 16 points, having scored 17 goals in six matches.
This included an attractive 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv, with Carlos Bacca taking a key, next to goals from Alex Baena and Fernando nino.
Yet, Unai EmeryThe team’s team has gone through a more difficult phase in recent weeks, having won just one of the last seven matches and five games without winning in La Liga.
More recently, the Yellow Submarine fell to a 2-1 home loss to Real Betis, with Gerard Moreno scoring a penalty in the second half, after the visitors won by 2 × 0.
As a result of his poor form, Villarreal fell from third to sixth in La Liga, before heading to Champions League qualification.
This means that Emery will be desperate to delve into this season’s Europa League, as winning the trophy may be the only way to continental football next season.
The Spaniard is one of the most qualified men to take the trophy too, having guided Sevilla to three consecutive Europa League titles between 2014 and 2016.
Red Bull Salzburg form (all competitions): WWWWWW
Villarreal Europa League form: WWWDWW
Villarreal form (all competitions): DWDLDL
All news from the teams
The home team remains without a defender Maximilian Wober, who has a thigh injury.
The Salzburg defense also suffers from the loss of the left-back Bernardo, who recently contracted a knee injury, in addition to an important defender Andre Ramalho, who loses this game by suspension.
Since the departure of Dominik Szoboszlai for RB Leipzig in January, Jesse Marsch’s attack was led by Patson Daka, who scored 13 goals and five assists in 13 league games this season.
Villarreal has no lack of injuries to face for this match, with experienced midfielders Vicente Iborra and François Coquelin marginalized, while the January signing Etienne Capoue I was only able to get to the bank on Sunday.
His attack was also hit, with Samu Chukwueze with a groin injury.
Emery’s attack is likely to be led by the exciting combination of Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer, who scored 22 goals in all competitions this season.
The final point of attack can be disputed, with Moi Gomez and Fernando Nino, both claiming starting positions.
Possible starting lineup for Red Bull Salzburg:
Stankovic; Kristensen, Solet, Vallci, Ulmer; Junuzovic, Mwepu; Berisha, Sucic; Daka, Adeyemi
Possible starting lineup for Villarreal:
Asenjo; Pena, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Baena, Foyth, Parejo; Moreno, Alcacer, Gomez
Probability: Red Bull Salzburg 2-2 Villarreal
We see this game as a very open and exciting game, with two good offensive teams facing each other in the Red Bull Arena, with neither team coming out on top in this first leg.
While Alcácer and Moreno can have a field day against a weakened Salzburg defense, the offensive threat from Marsch’s team, led by the exciting Daka, will cause many problems for Villarreal.
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