Manchester United vs Villarreal sees the pressure very much on the hosts as they stare down the prospect of an 0-2 start to life in the Champions League group stage, while Unai Emery and Villarreal feels like they’re playing with house money as underdogs.
After all, the Yellow Submarine beat the Red Devils in last season’s Europa League Final and still won’t be expected to get much from Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, and Co. at Old Trafford at 3pm ET on Wednesday.
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That’s not to say Emery won’t be feeling some heat in Manchester following a 2-2 draw with Atalanta at home to open the group stage, but there’s an opening with Harry Maguire out and Luke Shaw possibly missing from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s back line.
“I’m not afraid of Manchester United,” Emery said. “We respect them. Okay, respect is important. If you lose respect you may lose. Manchester United is the clear favorite. It was also the favorite in the final. We played a competitive match but they also had the options. They lost against Young Boys, it was the favorite versus the less favorite but there was a surprise. If you lose respect the other team may take advantage of that.
“Tomorrow, Manchester will be the best Manchester, they have to prove their power.”
Manchester United team news, injuries
Marcus Rashford is expected back in training soon but will not play versus Villarreal, along with Amad Diallo and Harry Maguire. Luke Shaw also misses the game.
🚨 𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐑𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐗𝐈 🔴
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 29, 2021
Villarreal team news, injuries
Gerard Moreno won’t get a chance to score in a second successive game against United through injury, while Francis Coquelin is suspended.
Come on you Yellows 💪! pic.twitter.com/o6vQq1Kz3l
— Villarreal CF English (@VillarrealCFen) September 29, 2021
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Manchester United (-200) | Villarreal (+550) | Draw (+325)
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Man United losing three of four in all competitions with this team is surprising. Yeah, that happens with the ebbs and flows of any team, but surely you’re expecting a win from a team and manager that’s failed in this spot before. Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal.