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Villarreal vs Manchester United Europa League final preview: where to watch, team news, predictions

Where to watch, team news and expert predictions for the 2021 UEFA Europa League final.


Villarreal face Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League final in Gdańsk on 26 May at 21:00 CET. This page will update with team news, quotes and expert analysis as kick-off approaches.

Europa League final build-up

Where to watch the final on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Europa League broadcast partner(s) here.

Form guide

Latest: Real Madrid 2-1 Villarreal, 22/05
Where they finished: 7th in Liga

Manchester United
Latest: Wolves 1-2 Man. United, 23/05
Where they finished: 2nd in Premier League

Road to the final: All Villarreal's goals

Route to the final

Qualified: 5th in Liga
Group I winners
Round of 32: 4-1 Salzburg
Round of 16: 4-0 Dynamo Kyiv
Quarter-finals: 3-1 Dinamo Zagreb
Semi-finals: 2-1 Arsenal

Meet the teams: Villarreal

Road to the final: All Man. United's goals

Manchester United
Qualified: Transferred from UEFA Champions League
Round of 32: 4-0 Real Sociedad
Round of 16: 2-1 AC Milan
Quarter-finals: 4-0 Granada
Semi-finals: 8-5 Roma

Meet the teams: Man Utd

Starting line-ups

Villarreal: Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza; Pino, Capoue, Parejo, Trigueros: Gerard Moreno, Bacca

Man Utd: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelöf, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Greenwood; Cavani

What time does the final kick off?

Expert predictions

Graham Hunter, Villarreal reporter: Unbeaten in Europe this season, are Villarreal really likely to trip up now? Steered by a coach with such an exceptional Europa League record? You'd have thought perhaps not. Plus, Emery's three previous final wins showed him capable of triumphing in a variety of ways. Wednesday's game will need to be won as underdogs, I fear. Villarreal have the talent to win but, objectively, may not be quite as quick and strong as United. The key will be how the keeper chosen by Emery performs.

Emery's Europa League glory

Matthew Howarth, Man Utd reporter: After finally overcoming their semi-final hoodoo under Solskjær, defeat for United on Wednesday would be considered a failure. The Red Devils have beaten some talented sides en route to Gdańsk, and Villarreal certainly fall into that category, but they should be no match for a United side desperate to get their hands on their first piece of silverware in four years.

View from the camps

Solskjær positive on 'good omens'

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Man Utd manager: "It's going to be special. You've got to be proud to be able to lead a Manchester United team out to a final. It's been a fantastic journey and, as we say in Norwegian, veien er målet (the goal is the journey). This is just a step on the road to bringing our Man. United back."

Unai Emery, Villarreal coach: "If United are the favourites it’s because they have very good footballers, they have a great history, but we have arguments to be a real candidate to win here in Gdansk. United, at their best, can beat anyone. But we have our 'pros'. We’ve analysed United closely and the key is to take our opportunities when they come."

Marcus Rashford, Man Utd forward: "This game's important for us. We're so close to being a team that can compete and win trophies every single season. Maybe winning this title, this Europa League, can give us that little push that we need."

Dani Parejo, Villarreal midfielder: "We are up against the side who, I think, have been title favourites since they switched from the Champions League. Manchester United are a great team with top players, especially in attack. But we'll set ourselves up as we would for any other game, playing as we have until now: as a team."

Manu Trigueros, Villarreal midfielder: "An open, end-to-end game would be one where we have more to lose than United. We have to be organised, keep the ball, do damage to United in the way the coach has asked us to. We need to be intelligent and not get involved in a really uncontrolled match."

Pau Torres, Villarreal defender: "When you are in the final it’s inevitable you play the best opposition. But we’ll be calm. We’ve seen the videos and we know their strengths. I’ve played against Germany, we knocked out Arsenal, I train every day with Gerard Moreno who’s one of the best in Europe, so we’ll be ready."

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