UEL Match Preview: Villarreal vs RB Salzburg Predictions

Villarreal vs RB Salzburg

Villarreal vs RB Salzburg predictions and match preview for Thursday’s game in the UEFA Europa League. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the Yellow Submarine target a place in the last 16.

  • DATE: Thursday 25th February 2021
  • KICK-OFF: 18:55 (local time)
  • VENUE: Estadio Ceramica
  • COMPETITION: UEFA Europa League Last 32, 2nd Leg
  • VILLARREAL LEAD 2-0 ON AGGREGATE

Villarreal vs RB Salzburg Preview


Villarreal stadium

In what has been mostly a dark fortnight for Spanish clubs in Europe, there have been a few bright lights and one of those was Villarreal who impressively won 2-0 away to RB Salzburg in the 1st Leg of their UEFA Europa League last 16 tie. They are now very well placed to make the last 16 although there is still work to be done at the Ceramica this Thursday.

Goals from Paco Alcacer and Fer Nino ensured Villarreal took control of this tie a week ago. Given RB Salzburg were playing in the Champions League group stage earlier in the season, that was an excellent result for the Yellow Submarine who have been struggling to convert draws into wins in LaLiga of late.

That was again the familiar story at San Mames at the weekend as they drew 1-1 with Athletic Club. Unai Emery’s side took the lead early on but seldom threatened after that, and that has been another slightly concerning trend in some recent matches – although overall they are having a strong first campaign under the former Sevilla and Valencia boss.

RB Salzburg would have fancied their chances of building a decent run in this competition when they knew they’d be dropping into it 2021 but they will need to pull something out of the bag here, otherwise they will have purely domestic matters to focus on. With 58 goals in 18 league games this term, they clearly are a team with a goal in them and an early one here could thrust them right back into the tie.

The January departure of Dominik Szoboszlai has unquestionably hindered them though. The young Hungarian impressed in the Champions League group stage and without him, Salzburg perhaps don’t carry quite the same creative threat.

Head to Head

  • Last 5 Competitive Meetings: 3 Villarreal Wins, 2 Salzburg Wins.
  • This will be the sixth meeting between Die Roten Bullen and El Submarino Amarillo after Villarreal won 2-0 in Salzburg last week in the 1st Leg.
  • Salzburg did the double over Villarreal back in the 2009-10 UEL group stages.
  • However, the Spaniards ran out 5-2 winners on aggregate when they last met in the round of 32 back in 2014-15.

Team News

Francis Coquelin, Vicente Iborra and Alberto Moreno are sidelined through injury.

Central defender Andre Ramalho is back for the visitors having missed the 1st Leg last week through suspension.

Predicted Villarreal Starting Lineup:

Rulli – Estupinan, Torres, Albiol, Pena – Gomez, Capoue, Parejo, Trigueros – Moreno, Nino (4-4-2)

Predicted RB Salzburg Starting Lineup:

Stankovic – Ulmer, Vallci, Ramalho, Kristensen – Sucic, Junuzovic, Mwepy, Aaronson – Berisha, Daka (4-4-2)


Villarreal vs RB Salzburg Predictions


Score Prediction: Villarreal 2-1 RB Salzburg (AGG: 4-1)

Villarreal don’t have quite enough of a lead to be able to risk heavy rotation here so only one or two players are likely to get rested with Salzburg still a dangerous team on their day. Having done the hard work in Austria though, it’s hard to see Villarreal not completing the job and securing a relatively comfortable progression into the last 16.

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Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1699 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid, writing mostly about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer. Contact: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk