Red Bull Salzburg vs VillarrealUEFA Europa League, KO: 20:00 Feb 18, 2021, Red Bull Arena
Villarreal will be looking to maintain their impressive Europa League form when they travel to the Red Bull Arena for a clash against Red Bull Salzburg.
The Europa League has been a welcome distraction for the Villarreal this season having ended the group stage unbeaten. They have failed to hit that level of consistency in La Liga with their domestic form considered patchy at best.
The Spaniards have hit a particularly rough patch in recent weeks as they are winless in their last four matches. They travel to Austria off the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Real Betis with Gerard Moreno scoring from the spot after the visitors took a two-goal lead.
Villarreal will welcome the return of the Europa League and will be targeting a deep run in the competition. In Unai Emery, they appear to have the right manager for their ambitions with the Spaniard guiding Sevilla to three consecutive titles between 2014 and 2016.
Salzburg were handed a tough task in the Champions League having been drawn in the same group as Champions Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid. It was almost inevitable that they would be dumped out, but they managed to pip Lokomotiv Moscow to third place and a Europa League spot.
The Austrians have been dominant as ever domestically and are well on course to claim their seventh straight league title. They are currently three points clear at the top of the standings and have won their last six matches.
Salzburg's excellent form can be attributed to their superb attacking record having scored an impressive 54 goals in 17 league matches. Their attacking prowess was on full show in their last outing as they claimed a 4-2 victory against Swarovski Tirol in the Austrian Bundesliga.
How the bookies view it
Salzburg’s recent good form and fine home record means they are considered favourites among bookies. SBK has the Austrians to win at of 17/12 while a victory for Villarreal is valued at 21/10 with a draw priced at 27/10 at Unibet.
Given Villarreal’s inconsistent form and Salzburg often solid at the Red Bull Arena, I am leaning towards a home win on Thursday.
Head to Head
There have been four previous meetings between Salzburg and Villarreal with both teams claiming two wins each. The last fixture was a Europa League clash in 2015 which Villarreal won 3-1. Crucially, that game was at the Red Bull Arena.
Players to watch
Patson Daka has scored 13 league goals for Salzburg this season and heads into Thursday’s match having netted a brace last time out against Swarovski Tirol. The striker is priced at 13/10 to score anytime at Paddy Power.
Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno is also worth a look in the goalscorers market having scored three goals in his last two matches. Paddy Power values the Spaniard at odds of 2/1 to find the net at anytime.
Anything else catch the eye?
With Salzburg often rampant in attack and Villarreal not particularly tight at the back, goals can be expected in this one. However with Sport Nation offering the same odds for both teams to score and over 2.5 goals at 10/17, other markets might be worth your attention.
To be clear, the goals market is not a total bust as Salzburg have scored three or more goals in four of their last five matches and Skybet offering 10/3 for a similar outcome.
Salzburg have also been forced to come from behind in their last two matches, so there could be some value in backing Villarreal to score first. The Spaniards are priced at 23/20 at betway to grab the first goal.
This UEFA Europa League match between Red Bull Salzburg and Villarreal will be played on Feb 18, 2021 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Red Bull Salzburg vs Villarreal prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.