Aston Villa vs Villarreal Match Analysis & Prediction
15/12/2022 11:00 pm
Aston Villa will be looking to end their mid-season preparations on a high when Unai Emery welcomes his former club Villarreal to Villa Park for a friendly game on Thursday night.
Both teams won their most recent warm-up matches, with Villa claiming a narrow victory over Chelsea while Villarreal came out on top in a seven-goal thriller against Galatasaray.
Following Steven Gerrard’s departure in the middle of October, Aston Villa have made a solid start to life under the tutelage of Unai Emery, who won two of his first three competitive matches in charge of the club before the World Cup break.
The Villans suffered a 4-2 defeat in the EFL Cup third round against Manchester United on November 10, but Emery steered his new side to successive Premier League victories against the Red Devils and Brighton & Hove Albion, and they have subsequently moved up to 12th place in the table.
The Spaniard has since had time to work with the vast majority of his squad, as just four players jetted off to Qatar at the beginning of the World Cup, and they have endured a mixed set of results during the mid-season break.
Aston Villa lost 3-1 to Championship side Cardiff City on November 30, before playing out a 2-2 draw with Brighton eight days later. Villa returned to winning ways with a narrow 1-0 victory over Chelsea in Abu Dhabi through a seventh-minute goal from John McGinn.
Meanwhile, Villarreal appointed former Barcelona and Real Betis manager Quique Setien as their new head coach on Octobe 25, just 24 hours after Emery took the Aston Villa hotseat.
Setien experienced a tough start to his reign with Villarreal, losing his first three matches by an aggregate score of 6-0. However, the Yellow Submarine secured back-to-back wins before the World Cup break, with a narrow 1-0 La Liga victory away at Espanyol followed bt a resounding 9-0 win against sixth-tier side CD Santa Amalia in the first round of the Copa del Rey.
Setien’s side, who are currently ninth in La Liga and just three points behind the top four, have participated in two mid-season friendlies so far this month, with a 2-1 defeat to Fenerbahce in Istanbul followed by a 4-3 victory over Galatasaray last Tuesday.
Villarreal will be looking to build momentum and claim another victory in their penultimate warm-up game before thei final friendly match against Serie A leaders Napoli on Saturday.
Aston Villa vs. Villarreal Head to head
These two teams have not previously met in any competition and this will be their first meeting in a Club Friendlies match.
15/12/2022Aston VillaN/AVillarrealN/AClub Friendlies
Aston Villa Team News
Aston Villa have been boosted by the return of Matty Cash, Leander Dendoncker and Jan Bednarek following their involvement at the World Cup.
Emery was unable to call upon Diego Carlos, Emiliano Buendia, Philippe Coutinho, Jacob Ramsey and Jed Steer in Abu Dhabi due to injury and they are unlikely to feature here.
Aston Villa's Last 5 Matches
10/11/2022Manchester United4Aston Villa2League Cup
13/11/2022Brighton & Hove Albion1Aston Villa2Premier League
30/11/2022Cardiff City3Aston Villa1Club Friendlies
08/12/2022Aston Villa2Brighton & Hove Albion2Club Friendlies
11/12/2022Aston Villa1Chelsea0Club Friendlies
Villarreal Team News
Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and defender Juan Foyth remain unavailable as they are currently with Aston Villa’s Martinez and Argentina at the World Cup.
Spain centre-back Pau Torres could feature after training with the squad earlier this week, while former Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina will continue in between the sticks.
Villarreal's Last 5 Matches
12/11/2022Santa Amalia0Villarreal9Copa del Rey
Aston Villa vs. Villarreal: Odds and Predictions
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