Villarreal carries the hopes of most of Europe on its shoulders Wednesday night vs Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League final in Poland, and we have expert picks for you along with all the pre-game odds.
The Spanish side defeated Arsenal in the semi-finals to deny England all four spots in this season’s major European finals. Manchester City and Chelsea will contest the Champions League final in Portugal Saturday.
United goes into this match as the overwhelming favorite after destroying Roma in the semi-finals and will be expected to win.
And yet the Red Devils’ form at the end of this season has been spotty. The cancellation of that Liverpool game created a fixture logjam which meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team had to play four times in seven days. Those games brought losses to Roma (in the second leg), Leicester and Liverpool as the season ended in anti-climax.
Villarreal has also lost two of its final four games, though it was unfortunate to lose after an excellent display against Real Madrid on the final day. This final has been the focus for some time.
Victory here grants the winner direct entry into next season’s Champions League, but even though United has already qualified, defeat will not hand Villarreal a place. The Spanish side must win or instead join the new Europa Conference League.
Man Utd vs Villarreal Odds
Manchester United is the clear money line favorite with best odds of -120 (BetMGM,Borgata, PointsBet), while Villarreal is available at +395 (BetAmerica, Resorts). The draw in 90 minutes is generally a +250 shot.
These odds underrate Villarreal slightly, who have an excellent record in this competition and will give United more than a few problems.
Man Utd vs Villarreal Injury Report
Anthony Martial is out for the season with a knee injury, but the biggest issue right now for United is the fitness of captain Harry Maguire. He has been walking around in a protective boot on for the past 10 days and while Solskjaer remains confident he’ll play, how healthy he will be is another story.
Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze picked up a muscle injury just under three weeks ago and he too faces a race against time to make the final, while on-loan Tottenham defender Juan Foyth is also a doubt.
Man Utd vs Villarreal picks
Villarreal was underrated by Arsenal in the semi-finals and it could be the case that United will make the same mistake here. They have an excellent spine, with defender Pau Torres regularly linked with a move to the Red Devils, while further forward Daniel Parejo is one of the finest midfielders in Spain.
But Villarreal’s big weapon is Gerard Moreno. He has 41 goal contributions in all competitions for the ‘Yellow Submarine’ this season and has been the best forward in Spain outside of Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema and Luis Suarez. He’s also the penalty taker and has an exceptional record from the spot. Instead of looking at match odds, we’re interested in Moreno to score any time. If you’re feeling really brave, you can also take him to score first.
OddsCritic Pick: Gerard Moreno to score at any time @ +250 (bet365)
What time does the game start?
The Europa League final will take place at Stadion Miejski in Gdansk, Poland, on Wednesday May 26 with kickoff scheduled for 1500 ET (1200 PT).
How can I watch on TV?
Manchester United vs Villarreal will be broadcast on Paramount+ and CBS Sports Wednesday. CBS has the U.S. rights to the Europa League through the 2023-24 season. Univision meanwhile has the Spanish-language rights.
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