Midweek soccer action lookahead

May 25, 2021

The Europa League final takes place on Wednesday night (9pm) in Gdansk between Manchester United and Villarreal.

KEY NUMBERS

5 This is the fifth time the two teams are meeting in Europe in their history. All four previous meetings have finished 0-0.

8 This is Manchester United’s eighth major European final, the second most of any English club after Liverpool (14).

1 This is Villarreal’s first major European final in their history and they’re the 11th different Spanish club to do so.

9 On each of the last nine occasion a Spanish club has faced an English club in a European final, the Spanish club has won.

9 Manchester United would be the ninth club in the last 22 seasons to win the Europa League after being eliminated in the group stages of the Champions League.

TEAM NEWS

Harry Maguire and Anthony Martial are major doubts for United. Maguire damaged ankle ligaments at Aston Villa two weeks ago and has only just started walking without crutches, although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he will be afforded as much time as he needs to prove his fitness. Martial hasn’t played for two months due to a knee problem, although the boss said he hopes he could be involved in some form. 

Villarreal boss Unai Emery is still optimistic that winger Samuel Chukwueze and defender Juan Foyth – who is on loan from Tottenham – could be involved. The pair picked up injuries during the semi-final tie with Arsenal and haven’t played since. Etienne Capoue can play again after suspension, but Vicente Iborra is out for the long-term.

DSTV PREMIERSHIP

There are three matches during the week, with all three sides who played in African competition at the weekend fulfilling domestic league obligations tomorrow and Thursday.

Kaizer Chiefs are the only South African team still in Africa but they will be looking to improve their domestic form. They play Black Leopards on Wednesday. 

Also on Wednesday is log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns up against SuperSport United, while on Thursday Orlando Pirates meet AmaZulu.

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