UEL Match Preview: Qarabag vs Villarreal Predictions

Qarabag vs Villarreal predictions

Qarabag vs Villarreal predictions and match preview for Thursday’s game in the UEFA Europa League. Read on for analysis as the Yellow Submarine play their second group game.

  • DATE: Thursday 29th October 2020
  • KICK-OFF: 20:55 (local time)
  • VENUE: Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium
  • COMPETITION: UEFA Europa League (Group Stage)

Qarabag vs Villarreal Preview

Qarabag vs Villarreal
Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium via Sakhalinio, CC BY-SA 4.0

Villarreal’s first of two trips to Turkey for this season’s Europa League takes place on Thursday with Azerbaijani champions Qarabağ welcoming the Yellow Submarine to the Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium in Istanbul on Matchday 2. Istanbul is the temporary home for Qarabağ for this match instead of their regular stadium in Baku after last week’s announcement by UEFA to suspend all international matches in Azerbaijan and Armenia due to the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Qarabağ’s seventh continental campaign began with a 1-0 defeat to Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel Aviv last week while Unai Emery’s side ran out 5-3 winners over Sivasspor at the Cerámica but it wasn’t a comfortable evening as the Turkish side came back twice after going behind until Paco Alcácer’s late brace finally put the game to bed.

Goals were missing at the weekend for Villarreal as they were held to a scoreless draw at high flying Cádiz. A motivated home defence stood strong against the visiting attacking force which greatly missed Gerard Moreno. Álvaro Negredo put the ball into the visitors’ net early in the half but VAR disallowed the goal and saved Unai Emery’s blushes.

Paco Alcácer had a quiet afternoon while starlet Takefusa Kubo couldn’t repeat his masterful exploits from midweek where he had a hand in three goals. This would have normally been two dropped points for Villarreal but Cádiz’s recent extraordinary run of results, including a historic humbling of Real Madrid, says otherwise.

The Yellow Submarine have never failed to get past the group stages of the Europa League and only a calamity will break that record. The Spanish side is miles above all of its group opponents, in both quality and experience meaning Unai Emery’s only cause for worry are the long away trips and the first of them takes place this Thursday.

Qarabağ have won the Azerbaijan Premier League for the last seven years but this season has started in difficult fashion. Other than the pandemic and the tight scheduling, footballing activities are also being affected by the armed conflict in the country which began last month. Qarabağ currently sit fourth in their league table with only two wins in six matches. Despite that, Europa League qualification was secured emphatically with a 3-0 away win at Polish champions Legia Warszawa in the play-off round.

This is the first time Villarreal will face a side from Azerbaijan but Qarabağ have had encounters with two Spanish teams before. Last season they lost both their Europa League group games against Sevilla. In 2017 however, they impressively held Atlético to a draw, both home and away, in the Champions League group stages.

Head to Head

  • The sides have never previously met.

Qarabag vs Villarreal Predictions

Score Prediction: Qarabağ 0-2 Villarreal

Villarreal could again have a rotated squad for this one and still be clear favourites to return with all three points against a team which has failed to win any of its last ten European group matches at home. Even against Maccabi Tel Aviv, Qarabağ never really took control of the proceedings and so Villarreal would just be too strong for them. Expect the team in yellow to keep most of the ball and score a couple as well.

UEFA Europa League Betting Tips (18+)

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About Akhil Rawat 41 Articles
Based in New Delhi, Akhil follows LaLiga and Spanish football religiously. Currently a novice in the world of football writing, he fancies expressing his passion for the league through words.