Steaua vs Villarreal by Isaiah
Steaua is far from a really dominant force in their domestic league, but the team is still managing to remain at the first position, coming from a really interesting game last weekend away to Voluntari where they took all three points in a 3:2 victory.
After this victory, they remained at first position as said, with three points more than CS U. Craiova and domestic battles are surely priority for them. It was interesting battle where they took the lead twice, were equalized twice, but managed to prove superiority and take the three points deservedly with a goal five minutes before the full time whistle. Team suffered 2:0 defeat away to Osmanlispor in the first round and needs a three pointer badly here in order to get back into the race for first two positions.
As for Europa League, they now need to play this game more openly, since any other outcome but a victory would probably mean that their chances are minimal. Hosts continue to miss defender Filip Lucian who didn't play anyway so far in the season. Central defender Alin Tosca (7/0) is also injured, as well as defensive midfielder Mihai Pintilli (2/0) and striker Bojan Golubovic (4/0). Midfielder Gabriel Enache (8/0) is suspended.
After some negative results early in the season, Villarreal now seems to be back on track, since the team remains undefeated in last six matches and are counting four victories in last five games, only draw being great result actually, a draw away from home against Real Madrid during last midweek.
In the most recent game in Primera, they easily won over Osasuna 3:1 at home (goals from Pato, Bruno and Sansone, all in the first halftime), while the team now stands at third position, just two points behind leaders from Real Madrid and just a point below Barcelona. As for Europa League, they easily won over Zurich in the first round 2:1 at home, demostraing dominance during the game.
Guests continue to miss forward Roberto Soldado, who is injured from the start of the season and didn't have a single playing minute. They also continue to miss long term absentee central defender Daniele Bonera (0/0) and forward Cedric Bakambu (0/0) who is nearing his full fitness but shouldn't be risked here.
Steaua has some quality in offense and they should prove it here, since in case of a negative result, it's hard to imagining them back in the race for first two positions. I expect quite an open game from the hosts, while Villarreal remains more quality and more experienced, disregarding the fact if they rotate the squad a bit. I definitely see both teams playing fro a victory here and therefore, over 2.25 goals consists plenty of value in my eyes.