Villarreal vs Zenit
Competition: UEFA Europa League
Date: 14 March 2019
Kick-off: 21:00 CET
So what if Villarreal were below the relegation line in La Liga last week when they visited Zenit, and their rivals were/are still leading in Russia’s championship? The Yellow Submarine left Saint Petersburg with a massive 1-3 victory, and an anything but lucky one. They finished the game on more than double attempts, compared to Zenit (6-13), double on target (4-8), and close to 60% ball possession. In other words, they taught Zenit a lesson. Their week got even better on Sunday, when they beat Levante 0-2 away from home, scoring both their goals in added time(!). Actually, the first one was an own-goal. Celta and Rayo Vallecano lost, so Villarreal climbed up 17th in the table, right above the relegation line.
Since the start of the season, I had been calling Zenit favorites to reach at least the quarterfinals, they did drop the ball in some matches, but somehow always managed to end up on top. This time, their mission feels close to impossible. They need a 0-3 victory, which feels… almost unthinkable even to me, a firm believer (for months) in their chances of starring in this competition. At least Sunday’s game went well (after the 25th minute, when they were left 0-1 down, hosting Ufa). They won 2-1 (Azmoun and Rigoni scored before halftime), and took perfect advantage of Krasnodar’s draw. Zenit are leading in Russia’s championship, now by five points.
Previous five matches:
Levante vs Villarreal 0-2
Zenit vs Villarreal 1-3
Villarreal vs Alavés 1-2
Atlético Madrid vs Villarreal 2-0
Villarreal vs Sporting Lisbon 1-1
Zenit vs Ufa 2-1
Zenit vs Villarreal 1-3
Ural vs Zenit 0-1
Zenit vs Fenerbahce 3-1
Fenerbahce vs Zenit 1-0
Villarreal’s next game is on Sunday, again at home, versus Rayo Vallecano (Spain La Liga). Same day, Zenit will be visiting Spartak Moscow (Russia championship).
Villarreal vs Zenit: Head to head Stats
Villarreal have hosted Zenit once before, in 2008. Back then, they beat them 2-1.
Villarreal vs Zenit: Prediction
The hosts are considered favorites to win, but I prefer to bet on goals instead. Zenit may have looked disappointing in the first leg, but they remain a team full of quality players who can earn a positive result anywhere. I don’t expect them to produce a mega-surprise and qualify, but I can see them earn at least a draw.
Villarreal vs Zenit: Betting Tips
“Over 2.5 goals” is at 1.80, going up to 2.12 if combined with “both teams to score”.