Villarreal vs Astana by Jimeno
Villarreal didn't enter the season in a proper way, as the team suffered defeats in first two rounds, both played away from home and without a single goal scored as they firstly lost to Levante 1:0, but then suffered 3:0 defeat on the road to Real Sociedad. However, it seems that international break suited them well since the side bounced back with way better performance.
It was on Sunday night when they welcomed Betis and didn't start the game well, as the visitors took the lead in eleventh minute via Leon, but Bacca leveled up in 32nd minute. Hosts deserved to take the lead inside the first halftime already, but it happened in second halftime firstly via Castillejo in 61st minute, while Unal sealed the victory in 77th minute for the players of Villarreal. They need to pay attention to LaLiga matches, but surely are entering Europa League competition in order to reach the knockout phase too and are aiming all three points here.
Defender Daniele Bonera and forward Denis Cheryshev are both doubtful coming from injuries. Injured and out are two goalkeepers Andres Fernandez (2/0) and Sergio Asenjo (without performance this season). Full back Mario Gaspar shouldn't be risked in this one as well.
Astana, on the other side, started their season in Europa much earlier, since the team has started from the second qualifying stage of Champions League, progressing over Spartaks only with a 2:1 aggregate result. In third round they were better than Polish champions from Legia once again thanks to a one goal difference but playing against Scottish giants from Celtic was simply too much for them.
It was already known that they will be playing in Europa League as Celtic won the first game with 5:0 result, quite harsh result for Kazakhis, who managed to get a bit of a revenge in quite meaningless second game which they have managed to win with a 4:3 result. As for the domestic championship, Astana remains this season i control in the title race as they come from a 7:0 home victory over Atyrau, leading the table with a point more than second placed Kairat Almaty, but with two matches less played. Midfielder Laszlo Kleinheisler (no performance this season) is injured.
- Two only matches between these two sides ended as 4:0 and 3:0 victories for Villarreal.
Three years ago the teams met in Europa League and the Spaniards had 7:0 aggregate victory. Something similar is what I expect today even though Villarreal misses some players for this one. There is certain quality gap between these two teams and in case the hosts enter the match motivated, they should be able to get an easy three pointer.