Our prediction for this Europa Conference League match:
Villarreal will look to book their place in the Europa League quarter-finals when they take on Anderlecht at Estadio de la Ceramica in the return leg. The two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg, but the Yellow Submarine are seen as hot favourites to win the reverse fixture. Fit-again forward Gerard Moreno should lead the line for the hosts, while both Capoue and Coquelin are likely to miss the game with injuries.
The Belgian outfit, on the other hand, aim to build on a 2-0 win over Cercle Brugge. Anderlecht, though, often struggle on the travels, which is probably the main reason why we are going to bet on the La Liga side. The opposition back-line should have Islam Slimani at bay as the January signing scored a brace at the weekend, whilst midfielder Amadou Diawara is back from the domestic ban.
Highlighted Player (Aissa Mandi):
Aissa Mandi is a product of Reims’ youth school. After playing eight matches for Reims II in the 2009/2010 season, he started playing for the first team in 2010. Mandi made his Reims debut against Le Havre on 20 August, 2010 and he remained at Stade Auguste Delaune until 30 June, 2016, when he decided to join Spanish side Real Betis.
The Algeria international, who was born in Chalons-en-Champagne, France, signed a five-year contract with los Beticos which expires on 30 June, 2021. His main position is centre back, but he is capable of playing as a full back as well. The right-footed defender made his Algeria debut on 5 March, 2014 and he helped the Algerian national team keep a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Slovenia.
Mandi impressed at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but he scored his first goal for Algeria in a 3-3 draw with Ethiopia in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. He represented Algeria at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as well.
Highlighted Team (Anderlecht):
Founded on 27 May, 1908, Anderlecht are considered one of the oldest clubs in Belgium. The Paars-wit are the dominant force in the Belgian Pro League and in 2014 they won their 33rd domestic trophy. Anderlecht did remarkably well to win the UEFA Super Cup title in 1983, with the team defeating Benfica in the final of the competition.
The Belgian outfit recorded a 1-0 over the Eagles in the first leg, with the two teams playing out a 1-1 draw in the return leg. Anderlecht play their home games at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, the venue that was opened in 1917. The stadium was renovated in 1983 and current capacity of Anderlecht’s home ground is 28 063.
The Paars-wit have long-standing rivalries with the likes of Standard Liege and Club Brugge, whilst FC Brussels were considered the club’s bitter opponents in the past. The likes of Besnik Hasi, Lucas Biglia, Filip De Wilde and Romelu Lukaku are some of Anderlecht’s notable players.