Valencia take a 3-1 aggregate lead into their Europa League quarterfinal second leg fixture against Villarreal. The Spanish teams will lock horns on Thursday night with Villarreal needing three clear goals to advance.
The first leg ended with Valencia shocking their La Liga rivals. Los Che found the back of the net twice in second-half stoppage time to seal a dramatic victory. A nil-nil draw will now see Valencia through and into the semifinals.
Valencia have been one of the favourites to lift the Europa League trophy since tumbling out of the Champions League. Los Che eased past Scotland's Celtic to reach the last 16 against Russian side Krasnodar. There, Valencia needed a second leg added-time winner to progress.
Villarreal had not lost in the competition at home until Valencia's win last Thursday. Despite going well in the Europa League, Villarreal have struggled on the domestic front. However, they are now two points clear of the bottom three which could motivate an all-out attack on Thursday night to overturn the tie.
Valencia go into the match at a 4/5 best-price in the full-time result market. Villarreal can be backed at odds of 15/4.
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Valencia manager Marcelino could be influenced to rest players with his team 3-1 up. Goncalo Guedes, Jose Gaya, and Francios Coquelin could be rotated to the bench as a booking for either of the three would rule them out of the semifinal first leg.
One player that won't feature is Geoffrey Kondogbia who will miss the rest of the season with a thigh injury.
Villarreal won against Girona at the weekend to take them outside the relegation zone. Manager Javier Calleja has two options for Thursday night. He could go for broke and attack Valencia to win or he could conserve his side and focus on the relegation fight in La Liga.
Over 2.5 goals scored @ 13/10 - BET NOW
If the first leg is any indication of what to expect for Thursday night, fans should be in for a fun game. Valencia do have one of the best defences in Spain, but they did concede a soft penalty in the first match.
Both teams to score @ 20/23 - BET NOW
The first leg was a thriller, and if it hadn't been for Valencia's two breakaway goals in stoppage time, the second leg would start in Villarreal's favour. As it stands, the Yellow Submarine must attack to get back into the tie.
A penalty in the match @ 9/5 - BET NOW
Valencia went ahead in the first leg thanks to a sixth-minute goal from Guedes. Villarreal were awarded a soft penalty 30 minutes later which Santi Cazorla stroked home. There is bound to be high drama at the Mestalla and players could go over easily during the fiery encounter.
If Villarreal can pull a goal back early, then the tie will be set for a great finish. Villarreal need three away goals to progress while holding Valencia scoreless. It is a tall order for the Yellow Submarines, especially with the talent on the Valencia side.
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