It’s a top-of-the-table clash in Europa League’s Group I as Villarreal host Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Estadio de la Ceramica where at least one of these sides will see their winning run come to an end.
Both teams have clinched six points out of six from the first two games and appear in pole position to progress from the group, however, the dynamics could change over the next two games between these sides.
El Submarino, who are back in the competition after a gap year, are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions since losing to Barcelona – winning five of those – and enter the contest in good shape.
The reigning champions of Israel are struggling for form in the league, but they have recovered from their Champions League playoffs heartache and are refocused on the Europa League.
Villarreal vs Maccabi Tel Aviv Head-To-Head
The only previous occasion the sides have met was in the 2017-18 Europa League season when Villarreal and Tel Aviv were drawn in the same group.
Stunningly, the Israeli outfit pulled off a 1-0 win in Villarreal after recording a goalless draw in Tel Aviv. Yet, Maccabi finished bottom of the group and their La Liga counterparts progressed into the last 32 as group winners.
Villarreal Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-D-W-W
Maccabi Tel Aviv Form Guide (all competitions): L-W-D-W-D
Villarreal vs Maccabi Tel Aviv Team News
Villarreal will be without Juan Foyth, Alberto Moreno, and Soufiane Chakla in the defence due to injuries, while midfielder Dani Parejo is also out with a muscle problem. Pervis Estupinan, who returned to the squad in the last game, will be pushing for a start.
Injured: Juan Foyth, Alberto Moreno, Dani Parejo, and Soufiane Chakla
Uros Nikolic and Tal Ben Haim are long-term absentees for Tel Aviv, besides whom manager Giorgos Donis doesn’t have any fresh concerns.
Injured: Uros Nikolic and Tal Ben Haim
Villarreal vs Maccabi Tel Aviv Predicted XI
Villarreal (4-3-3): Gero Rulli; Ruben Pena, Romero Funes Mori, Pau Torres, Alfonso Pedraza; Vincent Iborra, Manu Trigueros, Jaume Costa; Samuel Chukwueze, Carlos Bacca, Takefusa Kubo.
Maccabi Tel Aviv (3-4-3): Daniel Tenenbaum; Luis Hernandez, Eitan Tibi, Sheran Yeini; Maor Kandil, Dan Glazer, Dor Peretz, Ofir Davidzada; Dan Biton, Itay Shechter, Yonatan Cohen.
Villarreal vs Maccabi Tel Aviv Prediction
Despite the obvious quality in Villarreal’s team, we expect a tightly-contested affair. Tel Aviv have proved to be no pushovers and even got the better of the Submarines in this fixture three years ago.
This is, of course, a different side and Unai Emery has made a positive start to life with the club. We expect his team to edge ahead narrowly by the end of 90 minutes.
Prediction: Villarreal 2-1 Maccabi Tel Aviv