Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Thanks to Alfonso Pedraza’s goal Villarreal recorded a hard-fought 1-0 win over Villarreal in the first leg of the Europa League last 32. The Yellow Submarine have been struggling in La Liga this season, but they proved their worth in the Europa League clash against the Portuguese outfit. The Spaniards are with one foot in the last 16 of the European competition, but their job is only half done. The Lions have no other choice but to go all guns blazing at Villarreal, but beating the La Liga side at Estadio de la Ceramica is easier said than done. The Yellow Submarine aim to make amends for the unsuccessful La Liga campaign and we predict that they are going to give fans yet another reason for celebration in Thursday’s football game. In previous two home games in the Europa League Villarreal defeated Spartak Moscow and Rapid Wien.
Highlighted Player (Carlos Bacca):
One of the most talented strikers of this generation, the 29-year-old Carlos Bacca began his senior professional career at Atletico Junior. He caught attention with his exploits and ended up as top scorer in the league in 2010. Bacca signed with Club Brigge in 2012 where he was the league’s top scorer in the only full season he played for them. It was his move to Spanish club Sevilla that brought the best out of Bacca. The striker was an integral part of the team that won the UEFA Europa League in his first two years with the club. Having been courted by many top sides across the world, Bacca signed with Serie A side Milan in 2015 for a reported fee of €30 million. Bacca is well known for his pace and aggression which has won him 27 caps and 11 goals on international duty with Colombia, since 2012.
Highlighted Team (Sporting Portugal):
When it comes to official club members, Portugal giants Sporting Lisbon are the sixth club in the world. Commonly referred to as Leoes which is Portuguese for Lions, Sporting Lisbon were founded in 1906 and are one of the founders of the Primeira Liga. Sporting’s main rivals are Benfica, with both teams contesting the Lisbon Derby, one of the most fierce ones in Europe. Lions play their games at Estadio Jose Alvelade in front of 50,000 people and are the third most successful club in the country with 46 titles in Portuguese competitions and a title in the European Cup Winner’s Cup from 1963-64. During this time that is also known as the club’s golden years, Sporting Lisbon won the majority of their 18 Primeira Liga titles in total. Sporting Lisbon boasts the quality football youth academy system which has yielded world-class footballers such as Paulo Furte, Simao Sabrosa, Nani and Ballon d’Or winners Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.