Villarreal are yet to taste defeat in Group A, having picked up three wins and two draws from their first five matches. That points total means that what ever happens on Thursday the Spaniards are going through to the knockout stages. Visitors Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel are rooted to the bottom of the group and will finish there having only picked up one point from five games. Neither side have anything riding on this game, so its no wonder the hosts are the big favourites to pick up another three points and condemn the Israelis to a fifth defeat in this seasons Europa League.
Ironically Maccabi Tel Aviv’s one and only point of Group A arrived when they played host to the group leaders in September. That match was the first between these two clubs and sadly for those in attendance the game ended goalless, not that the Tel Aviv fans were complaining. The game produced just three shots on target during the ninety minutes and not all of those were clear cut goal scoring opportunities in what has to be considered one of the dullest group games of this seasons Europa League.
With three wins, one draw, and two defeats from their last six matches it’s hosts Villarreal who head into Thursday’s game as the form favourites, with Tel Aviv not too far behind them with two wins, two draws, and two defeats.
Maccabi Tel Aviv are yet to score in this seasons competition, while Villarreal have found the back of the net ten times in their five matches. That suggests we should be in for a win for the home side and a relatively easy game for the hosts defence, with a high chance of a Villarreal clean sheet.
Bakambu moved ahead of Bacca to become Villarreal’s top scorer in this competition with three goals, but if the Colombian gets the nod ahead of Congo DR striker then you would expect the pair to at least be level on goals come the end of the night.
We’re confident that Villarreal will not only win, but also keep a clean sheet on Thursday. One team tops the group in goals scored, while the other is yet to even get off the mark ahead of the final round of games. In terms of a final score, we’re backing Villarreal to take the points by two goals to nil, because even though they don’t need the points they are the better side and have the home advantage.
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