Tonight, Villarreal take on Manchester United in Europes second top competition, the Europa League. With league football finished domestically across Europe, the Europa League and Champions league finals act as the final games in the season, before the summer brings the European Championships. This is YOUR Europa League final preview!

Manchester United are favourites to win the game, with them looking like the team to beat in the competition since dropping down from the Champions League earlier in the season. However, the Red Devils are surely hindered by injuries for the final, with captain Harry Maguire having little-to-no chance of playing, and other players being doubts.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 27: Harry Maguire of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Sheffield United at Old Trafford on January 27, 2021 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Tim Keeton –

For Villarreal, being the underdogs may benefit the side, as nobody expects them to cause issues for Manchester United. However, the should not be thought of as a pushover, as the side lines up in a flat 442 under Unai Emery, and the summer recruitment was impressive, with Dani Parejo joining from Valencia along with Francis Coquelin, and the signing of Ecuadorian Left-back Pervis Estupinan showing real ambition for the future.

Villarreal play Manchester United tonight
Villarreal’s Dani Parejo during spanish La Liga match between Villarreal cf and Sevilla FC at La Ceramica Stadium on May 17, 2021. (Photo by Jose Miguel Fernandez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

This Villarreal side is heavily reliant on top scorer Gerard Moreno, who has just been called up for the Spain squad for the Euro’s, who usually plays alongside one of either Carlos Bacca or Paco Alcacer, forming a dangerous attack for the Spaniards. Against Manchester United’s weakened defence, surely “The Yellow Submarine” will be fancy their chances of getting a couple of goals!

Gerard Moreno Of Villarreal, who play Manchester United tonight.
MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 22: Gerard Moreno of Villarreal CF in action during the La Liga Santander match between Real Madrid and Villarreal CF at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on May 22, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

However, Manchester United have a very versatile front four, with Bruno Fernandes being the only name that is definitely on the team sheet. Any of Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood could start, and all four could start in multiple positions. All five have also had a week off, so will be fully rested for the final, meaning if the game goes to extra time they should be able to finish all 120 minutes.

Fernandes celebrates his winner. He plays Villarreal tonight.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 24: Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrates after scoring their sides third goal from a free kick during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 24, 2021 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Martin Rickett – Pool/Getty Images)

The winner is sure to see a huge gain from winning the competition, with the winner earning qualification to the Champions League, and with Villarreal missing out through the league competition this is their last chance to play in Europe next season, and whilst Manchester United have already qualified, the financial benefit of winning is sure to boost Manchester United’s transfer window.

Who do you think will win the final tonight? Let us know in the comments.

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Sam Hutchison

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