UEFA Europe League Semi – Final First Round Preview and Prediction
Villarreal vs Liverpool
Villarreal will be locking horns with a rejuvenated Liverpool at the Estadio El Madrigal on Thursday for the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semi final tie. The Yellow Submarines have won all their 6 games at their home stadium so far this season, but they will be facing a side who has are unbeaten in the competition so far.
Villarreal conceded their only goal at home in a 2-1 victory over Sparta Prague in the first leg of the quarter final stage. The Yellow Submarine will hope to surpass their Semi Final fit and get to the final of the Europa competition for the first time, since they last lost the chance of a final ticket to Porto in 2011.
Liverpool on the other hand remains unbeaten in the competition so far, with 5 wins and 7 draws in 12 games. The Reds last appearance in the semifinal was in 2009/2010 season.
Villarreal is currently on 11 games unbeaten run in the competition.
Villarreal have won all their 6 games at home, conceding once in those 6.
Villarreal have won twice in their last 5 games in all competition.
Liverpool is currently on 12 games unbeaten run in the competition.
Liverpool have won 1 of their last 6 away games in the competition, with 5 ending in draw
Liverpool have won 4 of their last 5 games in all competition.
Villarreal: Team News
Marcelino Garcia will be without the services of Carrilho Baptistao with Juame Costa, and Pablo Musacchio all doubtful for the game due to thigh injury.
Villarreal: Predicted Line-Up (4-4-2)
Areola: Mario, Bailly, Ruiz, Rukavina: Suarez, Castillejo, Bruno, Trigueros: Soldado, Bakambu.
Liverpool: Team News
Klopp will be without the service of is skipper Jordan Henderson, and recent injury boy Divock Origi. Sakho is also doubtful for the game due to allegation of substance usage
Liverpool: Predicted Line-Up (4-2-3-1)
Mignolet: Clyne, Toure, Dejan, Moreno: Can, Milner- Firmino, Coutinho, Lalana: Sturridge
Villarreal Vs Liverpool: Head-To Head-Stats
Both are meeting for the first time in competitive game in Europe.
Villarreal has however met with other English side safe Liverpool. In 10 of their last meeting with an English club, the yellow Submarine has failed to win any. The Spanish club has also lost 1 of their last 7 home games in Europe with an English side.
Liverpool has also played numerous games with many Spanish side safe Villarreal. The reds have won over 46% of their away games in Spain losing 26% with 26% ending in a draw.
Villarreal Vs Liverpool: Prediction
With a price of a champion’s league spot for any side that wins the competition, the clash between both sides will be fierce considering their recent standing in the league.
Villarreal form at home poses a big treat to an unbeaten Liverpool side. Liverpool also have shown some great performance in the tournament so far with the recent one been produced at Anfield against Dortmund.
A score draw will be perfect from this game, but Villarreal has a bigger opportunity of taking all maximum point ahead of the second leg in Anfield.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Sevilla
Shakhtar Donetsk will welcome Sevilla to L’Viv Arena on Thursday for the Europa League semi final first leg.
With Europa League seeming to be Shakhtar’s mostly likely route for a Silverware this campaign as they are 7 points below leaders Kiev in the Ukrainian League. They will be hoping for a home win to give themselves advantage for the second leg of the game.
Sevilla came into this stage of the competition after a dogged fight with their Spanish rivals Athletic Bilbao in the quarter final stage which ended a penalty shoot-out, after a 5-3 win. The Andalusians will be hoping for a win or at least a draw to get an advantage over the Ukrainian side prior to the 2nd leg at their back yard.
Sevilla have dominated this competition recently, they are the title holders and they have won 4 of the last 10 Europa League titles, each coming back to back, they are hoping to be the first team to win it 3 times in a row.
Sevilla are not bad in shape, they have won 3 of their last 6 games, lost 2 and drew 1.
Sevillla have scored in at least a goal in their last 6 games.
Shakhtar are in a winning streak in Europa league, they have won their last 5 Europa league games.
Shakhtar Donetsk: Team News
Matcio Azevedo will be missing in the left back with knee injury and that is Shakhtar’s only missing player.
Taison will be expected in the starting line up after coming in from the bench the last time.
Shakhtar Donetsk: Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Azatsky, Khhocholava, Korkishko, Martinenko
Tatarkov, Danchenko, Kutsenko, Taison
Sevilla: Team News
Sevilla have a lot of injury worries, Marco Andreolli, Benoit Tremoulinas, and Micheal Krohn-Dehli are all out on injury while Vitolo and Kevin Gamiero are struggling for fitness.
Sevilla: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Escudero, Kolodziejczak, Carrico, Mariano
Konoplyanka, Banega, Reyes
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Sevilla: Head-To-Head stats
These two great teams have met only two times which was in the knock-out stage of 2007 European competition, which both legs of the games ended in a 2:2 draw that led to extra time at L’Viv Arena before Sevilla came out victorious with an extra time goals. (Aggregate 5:4).
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Sevilla: Prediction
Both teams have equal chance in this game, which makes this a tough one, but with Shakhtar’s strong home form in Europe, it’ll be wise to stake a double chance on the home side as they are on a five game winning streak in Europe.
Sevilla’s last 6 games have recorded at least 2 goals and that it same for Shakhtar’s last 6 games with each team scoring in each of their last 6 games.
Shakhtar are a strong team in Europe competition this year and they have a greater chance of winning here, despite Sevilla’s legacy in Europa league.