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Villarreal vs Young Boys: Champions League Preview

Villarreal face a massive match for their UCL survival

FBL-EUR-C1-YOUNG BOYS-VILLARREAL Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

When the season is going awful, they are all important, but if we have any intention of making it to the knockout rounds of any European competition this season, we need to go ahead and beat Young Boys.

We are currently second in the group, somehow, after three matches. A win against Young Boys would give us a huge advantage over whoever came out the worse for wear from the Manchester United/Atalanta match, and if we won and they tied we go first place.

Beyond that, beating Young Boys all but assures we finish at least third in this group, and finishing there would give us a chance to defend our Europa League crown. If your position is that we need to get out of Europe so that we can salvage our league campaign, I totally get that, but for any European aspiration this is a game we need to win.

If you’ll remember back to the last Champions League matchday, the 4-1 scoreline flattered us very heavily. It was miraculous that it took us as long to concede as we did, and then we got two late goals as YB flung people forward trying to equalize. I am fairly certain we need to perform better if we hope to get another win.

I think that better performance is imminently doable. The biggest problems I have had of late is Unai’s reluctance to give our offense a focal point by playing an actual striker and the general lack of pace in advancing the ball. Both of those things should be rather straightforward against this particular opponent, if Emery is willing to do it.

Prediction

I think we play better at home and win 2-1. I know our league form has sucked but since when did league form affect an Unai Emery side in Europe?