Manchester United will be looking to end a four-year trophy drought when they take on Villarreal in the final of the Europa League in Gdansk on Wednesday.
The Red Devils have not lifted any silverware since beating Ajax in the final of the same competition in 2017 and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to end that wait, as he feels victory at Stadion Miejski could prove a “stepping stone for a big future” at the club.
United are priced at
10/11 to win the match inside 90 minutes, while Villarreal are available at
17/5 and the draw
23/10, which would signal extra-time and potentially penalties, is on offer at
Past Experience can Help United
While it may have been four years since United last lifted a major trophy, they still boast a squad full of top-level experience, although only two members of the side that started the final in 2017 are likely to feature on Wednesday, with Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford both set to play key roles.
United’s experience will certainly trump that of Villarreal, who will be contesting their first-ever major European final, while a victory for the Spanish side would also see them lift a top-level trophy for the first time in their history.
Villarreal do have a serial Europa League winner in their ranks in manager Unai Emery, who won the competition in three successive years with Sevilla between 2014-16, while the Yellow Submarine are also unbeaten in Europe this season, winning 12 of their 14 matches to date.
That impressive record should certainly make United sit up and take notice, but the Red Devils have already seen off two Spanish sides in this season’s competition, dumping out both Real Sociedad and Granada with relative ease.
Game of Fine Margins Expected
United have had no trouble scoring goals this season, as only Manchester City struck more times in the Premier League, while they notched eight during their Europa League semi-final tie against Roma.
However, Solskjaer’s side will be coming up against a Villarreal team who have only conceded three goals during the Europa League knockout stages and they have also kept four clean sheets across their last six matches in all competitions.
The Yellow Submarine are a team that like to retain possession and slow the play down and that is an approach that United have struggled against in the past.
Wednesday will be the fifth time the two teams have met in European competition and all four previous clashes have finished 0-0, which certainly makes backing under 1.5 goals in Gdansk a tempting option at
Cavani Could Prove to be United Hero
After a slow start to his United career following his arrival in October, Uruguay international Edinson Cavani has certainly proven his worth over recent weeks and he extended his contract with the club earlier this month.
The 34-year-old has netted nine times across his last 10 matches, including four of United’s goals in their semi-final victory over Roma.
Like many of United’s first-team stars, Cavani was rested for Sunday’s Premier League victory over Wolves and he should come into Wednesday’s match refreshed.
That will certainly be a worry for Villarreal and Cavani can be backed at
6/4 to score at anytime, while it would be no surprise to see him produce the game-defining moment.
*All odds correct at time of writing