Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Prediction: Villarreal vs Lyon

Verdict: Lyon not to lose

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: 888sport

Late goal scored by Memphis Depay in the first leg could prove crucial as Villarreal now need to overturn a two-goal deficit, which could prove mission impossible given their poor run of form. Lyon, on the other hand, have also experienced problems on domestic stage, but their European performances have been nothing short of impressive.

Villarreal

Participating in fourth successive Europa League campaign, Villarreal have got plenty of experience in the competition, but while they managed to reach the knockout stages in each of those seasons, one semi-final appearance is all they’ve got to show for. The Yellow Submarine have been far from impressive this term, narrowly winning the group that contained minnows Astana, Slavia Praha and Maccabi Tel Aviv, and given the form they are in, we seriously doubt they will be able to eliminate Lyon from the competition.

Villarreal are going through a very rough patch at the moment, as two defeats and a draw in last three league fixtures served as a major blow to their Champions League hopes. Having also suffered a 3-1 loss to Lyon in the first leg, the Yellow Submarine were on a three-match losing run that came to an end at the weekend as they played out a 1-1 draw with Espanyol. However, even though Javi Calleja rested some of his starters in said match, Villarreal face an uphill task in the return leg against Lyon.

Team News

The likes of Carlos Bacca, Jaume Costa and Trigueros will be recalled to the side, but Bruno, Ruben Semedo, Andres Fernandez, Nicola Sansone, Samu Castillejo, Leonardo Suarez and Ramiro Guerra continue to miss out.

Lyon

Having previously mostly featured in the Champions League, Lyon are slowly getting used to Europa League football, but they have yet to mount a serious title challenge. They came really close last season when they were surprisingly beaten by youthful Ajax side in the semis, and now it’s time to try and go all the way. Les Gones definitely look like the serious title contenders this season and they have already made an important step towards the last 16 stage.

With head coach Bruno Genesio doing really well to rebuild the squad over the summer, Lyon have been performing well in most competitions entered. Les Gones have reached the Coupe de France quarter-finals, while they occupy fourth position in the Ligue 1 standings after a poor run of results. Three defeats and a draw saw Lyon fall six points behind Marseille in the race for the final Champions League berth, but they hope good Europa League results will help them return to the right track on domestic stage.

Team News

Fernando Marcal misses out through suspension, but Maxwell Cornet and Kenny Tete are back in contention. Amine Gouri, Cheikh Diop and Myziane are unavailable.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Lyon recorded 3-1 win in the first leg
  • Villarreal just ended a three-match losing run
  • Lyon won four of last five EL fixtures (L1)
  • Les Gones scored in 10 of last 11 away matches in Europa League
  • Villarreal lost three of last six home games in Europa League

Conclusion

Villarreal are going through a very rough patch at the moment and taking into account the busy schedule and the lengthy injury list, we don’t think they stand any chance of overturning a two-goal deficit. What is more, we expect Lyon to avoid defeat at El Madrigal.

Verdict: Lyon not to lose

Best Odds: 5/6

Bookmaker: 888sport

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