Manchester United v Villarreal: Emery can frustrate Ole's revenge mission

Man Utd v Villarreal betting tips
Man Utd face Villarreal again in the Champions League

With a great record for draws in this fixture, Paul Higham can see another stalemate at Old Trafford when draw specialists Villarreal face Man Utd.

Man Utd v Villarreal
Wednesday 29 September
Live on BT Sport

Red devils on revenge mission

Another bad performance for Man Utd on Saturday means the boringly predictable "Ole Out" brigade are out in force again, and now Villarreal arrived at Old Trafford bringing with them all the bad memories of that Europe League final in May.

Solskjaer won't be going anywhere anytime soon as United have now given him everything he's asked for so he'll have at least this season to try and repay that faith with some silverware - and he certainly has the squad to do it.

Champions League master Cristiano Ronaldo will break Iker Casillas' competition record with his 178th appearance and breaking down what will be a stubborn Spanish side is exactly what he was brought back for.

The great man has, however, never managed to score against Villarreal in four games against them so will be eager to change that statistic - and after drawing all five previous meetings with the Yellow Submarine, United will be looking to Ronaldo to be the difference.

Injuries to Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire could be a big problem if either or both men miss out that'll be a big negative for the home side, who of course lost their opener against Young Boys.

Man Utd have never lost their first two games in a major European competition in their history, and Solskjaer needs to start piling up wins to improve his poor record in this tournament.

Stubborn Spanish side present problems

It's Villarreal's toughest game of the group so Unai Emery will approach this with caution and the aim to avoid defeat first and foremost - it's a role his team are well capable of and have plenty of previous experience in.

They've not exactly lit up La Liga this term even though they are still unbeaten - winning just one of six and drawing the other five. They also drew their opening Champions League game against Atalanta.

A 0-0 at Real Madrid at the weekend provides the blueprint for the game at Old Trafford - although Villarreal actually edged the possession stats and had the same number of shots on target (two).

With Aaron Wan-Bissaka suspended, if Maguire and Shaw are also missing then Emery might sniff the hint of an upset here and play a more attacking game - but odds are he'll trust his side's ability to keep it tight but play on the break.

Run of draws set to continue?

Five meetings all ending in a draw, four of them 0-0, with Villarreal drawing with everyone this season and coming off the back of a 0-0 at Real Madrid? You just have to fancy the draw here at very tempting price of 4.67/2.

Man Utd are big 1.4740/85 favourites but Solskjaer's Champions League record is a red flag, as is United's record of no wins in their last seven games against Spanish teams in this competition.

Villarreal have a fine record in Europe and are currently on the longest unbeaten streak in the major European competitions with no defeats in their last 16 across the Champions League and Europa League.

After back-to-back defeats at Old Trafford and with possible injuries in defence for Man Utd, 7.613/2 on a Villarreal victory looks a big price considering all those factors.

Ronaldo the only hope for goals?

It's what he's here for, so everyone expects a Ronaldo goal, including the bookies sadly with him being a big odds-on shot to find the net - helped by the prospect of him now being on penalties as we still wait for Bruno Fernandes' effort against Villa to come back down to earth.

Goals may be hard to come by. Yes, Villarreal drew 2-2 with Atalanta in the Champions League opener, but they've been a lot more open and attacking at home than on the road.

Plus, Emery knows the formula for beating United and it's sitting back and frustrating them - under 2.5 goals is well in-play here at 2.3211/8.

gerard moreno 1280.jpg

Player wise - I always like Gerard Moreno against English sides and if there is a goal the likelihood is that the man who scored 23 of them last season will be involved. He bagged seven in the Europa League last season including in the final against United.

Moreno also scored in the Super Cup against Chelsea and is 3.613/5 to score at Old Trafford.

Arnaut Danjuma scored against Atalanta after previously finding the net for Club Brugge in 2018, and he could be a goal threat at 4.57/2 in the anytime goalscorer market.

In the player stats, watch out for another Moreno - former Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno, who often operates on the left of midfield or at wing-back and has already scored this season.

He's got a 100% record this term with all four of his shots hitting the target, and caused Chelsea problems in that advanced role when fiting in two shots with one hitting the woodwork.

He'll be a decent price to hit the target again.

Opta stat

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is the only manager to take charge of over 10 Champions League game with an English side to lose more than 50% of his games in charge (64% - lost seven of 11 games).

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