Match preview: Villarreal v United

Monday 22 November 2021 10:45

Manchester United travel to Villarreal for a vital group game in the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

In what will be the first match since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left his role as manager, the Reds can secure qualification to the knockout stage with a second victory over Villarreal, having already beaten them 2-1 at Old Trafford. Michael Carrick takes caretaker charge and will be picking the team.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the action...

Exclusive: Ole's farewell interview article

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken the opportunity to speak to club media as he parts company with the Reds.

HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE MATCH?

The match in Spain kicks off at 17:45 GMT on Tuesday and will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport 3.

MUTV's coverage will begin when Matchday Live goes on air at 16:40 GMT - the show will include pre-match build-up, live match radio commentary and post-match analysis. Alternatively, you can follow the game with live updates via ManUtd.com and our Official App.

TEAM NEWS

Mason Greenwood has tested positive for COVID-19 and may not be involved on Tuesday. Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane will definitely not feature in Spain as the French duo still faces time on the sidelines following longer-term injuries. Edinson Cavani wasn't part of United’s squad at Watford at the weekend and remains a doubt for the meeting with Villarreal and the same goes for Luke Shaw, who appeared to sustain another concussion injury on Saturday. 

As for the hosts, star striker Gerard Moreno, who scored against United in the Europa League final in May, looks set to miss out. Their no.7 has been out with a torn hamstring, which he sustained in late October. The injury has kept him out of their last seven matches. 

FORM GUIDE

United are in a difficult period but will look to bounce back from the 4-1 defeat at Watford on Saturday. In the Champions League, the Reds claimed a crucial point against Atalanta in our last away match and Carrick will hope the team can deliver another good result on foreign soil on Tuesday.

Villarreal drew 1-1 with Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday. Before the international break, Unai Emery’s team beat Young Boys home and away in Europe, meaning they’re level with United in seven points in the group, having also drawn 2-2 with Atalanta. However, in the Spanish top flight, they’ve only won once in their last six matches.

HEAD TO HEAD

In our last meeting, a superb volley by Alex Telles and an injury-time winner from Cristiano Ronaldo made sure United overturned a one-goal deficit to earn three crucial points in Group F. In all our previous five clashes, the Reds and the Yellow Submarine have drawn. However, Villarreal beat United on penalties in last season’s Europa League final. All four clashes before that final ended 0-0, so one could reasonably expect a tight affair once again in Spain.

Last time out against Villarreal Video

Last time out against Villarreal

The Reds laid the Yellow Submarine hoodoo to rest with a dramatic late win at Old Trafford...

MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referee: Felix Brych.

Assistant referees: Mark Borsch, Stefan Lupp.

VAR: Marco Fritz.

Assistant VAR: Harm Osmers.

The experienced Felix Brych will be the referee on Tuesday.

RIVALS WATCH 

Elsewhere in Group F, Atalanta travel to Young Boys later in the evening (20:00 GMT), with both sides hoping for a victory that would boost their own qualification hopes for the knockout stages, going into matchday six.

In the other groups on Tuesday, the pick of the ties sees holders Chelsea host Juventus at Stamford Bridge while Barcelona face Benfica, both at 20:00 GMT.

Recommended: