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Villarreal at Manchester United: Champions League Preview

Unai Emery and Ole Gunnar Solskjær face off in a Europea League Final rematch.

Villarreal CF UEFA Europa League Final Victory Parade Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Okay, I’m going to start this off by sharing the UEL Final shootout in full:

I will never stop watching that video on a weekly basis.

We’ve never lost to Manchester United, hopefully we won’t start here. It won’t be easy, but Villarreal showed at the weekend that even without Gerard Moreno they are capable of controlling matches for long periods of time against extremely expensive talented opponents.

Manchester United

We’ve faced Cristiano Ronaldo before. We’ve even faced him in the Champions League, and in that competition at least have kept him from scoring. He’s older now, and mostly stands around waiting for the ball to come to him so he can shoot, but unfortunately he can still shoot really well. He’s not the only strong attacker United have, and they spent a TON of money this summer to try to make up for losing to us in the UEL final, bringing in Rafa Varane and Jadon Sancho in addition to the Champions League’s all time leading scorer/alleged rapist.

The beacon of hope for Villarreal is that as a club they own approximately 26 players who could start in defensive midfield for Manchester United.

Villarreal

No Gerard Moreno, which royally sucks. We’ll probably see Paco again, which isn’t terrible. Dia just hasn’t made his mark at the club yet. I will be very curious to see who Emery plays at left back. He trusted Alberto Moreno there against Real Madrid, and that went well. I don’t know if he’ll return to that well or not. Otherwise I don’t see much change in the lineup from Saturday.

Prediction

I think Emery is going to try to do to United what he did to Real Madrid, and I think in midfield and attack Madrid is better than United is, so I like our chances for a 0-0 draw here, or perhaps a 1-0 win if Paco can get loose.