UEL Match Preview: Villarreal vs Dinamo Zagreb Predictions

Villarreal vs Dinamo Zagreb

Villarreal vs Dinamo Zagreb predictions and match preview for Thursday’s game in the UEFA Europa League. Read on for the team news, analysis and predicted lineups as the Yellow Submarine target a place in the last four.

  • DATE: Thursday 15th April 2021
  • KICK-OFF: 21:00 (CET)
  • VENUE: Estadio Ceramica
  • COMPETITION: UEFA Europa League Quarter Final, 2nd Leg

Villarreal vs Dinamo Zagreb Preview

Villarreal match action

Villarreal will be hoping to book their place in the Quarter-Finals of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night when they play host to Dinamo Zagreb at the Ceramica. Unai Emery’s side are 1-0 up from the 1st Leg and are firmly in the ascendancy but they can’t afford to think the job has been done.

Their victory in the Croatian capital last week came via a Gerard Moreno penalty just before Half-Time. Dinamo had their moments in the game but overall it was another strong display from Villarreal who have been very impressive in this competition this season, winning 10 of their 11 Europa League matches to date in 2020/21.

Having never won a major trophy, it would be absolutely enormous were this football club able to go on and lift the Europa League this season. It’s not impossible but they will be aware that there are considerably stronger tests to come, assuming they do finish the job here. They come into the game on the back of a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Osasuna in LaLiga but Emery clearly opted to prioritise this match by resting the likes of Moreno and Pau Torres.

Dinamo Zagreb are somewhat surprise Quarter-Final participants after their fine comeback win against Tottenham in the last round. While they are experienced European campaigners, regularly featuring in the top continental competitions, you have to go back to 1969/70 for their previous European quarter-final – a Cup Winners’ Cup tie against Schalke, and overall they don’t have sufficient all-round quality to suggest they should be a regular match for top sides in the big European leagues, despite that shock win over Spurs.

The Croatian side did take 7 points from their 3 away games in the group stage though and away victories over Feyenoord and Wolfsberger ought to give them some belief heading into this trip to Spain. Overall though, if Villarreal are at their best, they should finish the job.

Head to Head

  • Villarreal won the 1st Leg 1-0 in Croatia last week.
  • The only previous meetings came in the group stage of the 2009/10 Europa League.
  • Dinamo won 2-0 in Zagreb but Villarreal won the reverse fixture 3-0 in Spain.

Team News

The likes of Pau Torres, Manu Trigueros, Samuel Chukwueze and Gerard Moreno should return for Villarreal having been rested in LaLiga at the weekend. Pervis Estupinan is still out.

Bruno Petkovic is the only definite injury absentee for the visitors.

Predicted Villarreal Starting Lineup:

Rulli – Pedraza, Torres, Albiol, Foyth – Trigueros, Capoue, Parejo – Gomez, Alcacer, Moreno (4-3-3)

Predicted Dinamo Zagreb Starting Lineup:

Livakovic – Gvardiol, Theophile-Catherine, Lauritsen, Ristovski – Jakic, Ademi, Majer – Orsic, Gavranovic, Ivanusec (4-3-3)

Villarreal vs Dinamo Zagreb Predictions

Score Prediction: Villarreal 2-1 Dinamo Zagreb (Villarreal to win 3-1 on aggregate)

Villarreal have dealt with the Europa League in a most professional manner this season, with barely any sign of weakness. It has been a smooth progression up until this point and it’s hard to believe they will have any major difficulty finishing the job here.

UEFA Europa League Betting Tips (18+)

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About Mark Sochon 2074 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk