Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Villarreal play host to Dinamo Zagreb at their Estadio de la Ceramica in the Europa League quarter-finals, return leg. The Yellow Submarine defeated the Croat champions in Zagreb thanks to Gerard Moreno’s goal, and, as a result, they are on the right track to make it to the semis. Unai Emery rested several first-team regulars in the 2-1 defeat to Osasuna at the weekend, but he is likely to field the best possible side against Dinamo Zagreb.
The Croats did well to eliminate Tottenham in the previous round, but their display in the 1-0 defeat to Villarreal was anything but good. Since key attacker Petkovic remains on the sidelines for the visitors, we are tempted to put our money on the La Liga side. A man to keep an eye on in the away team will be Mislav Orsic, who has netted 14 goals in the national championship so far this season.
Highlighted Player (Ramiro Funes Mori):
Argentina isn’t known to produce great talents in defence but Ramiro Jose Funes Mori is an exception. The 25-year-old started his football career in the United States with FC Dallas. He won an MLS talent competition to get into their youth team but it was less than a year before he moved back to Argentina.
Mori joined River Plate as a youth player in 2008 and progressed to their senior team within three years. The young defender is nothing short of a club legend at River Plate having won six titles with the team. More than the titles and his performances, it was his performances in important games that is still vividly remembered.
His iconic goal against Boca Juniors is still part of the folklore. Mori joined English Premier League club Everton in 2015 and soon established himself as a regular there. Mori represented Argentina seven times and yet to score in national colors.
Highlighted Team (Dinamo Zagreb):
Arguably the biggest club in Croatia and one of the most prominent football outfits in the Balkan region, Dinamo Zagreb have won 18 league titles, 11 of which came successively. Dinamo Zagreb have never been relegated to a lower tier of both Croatian and Yugoslav football.
Modri as they are called in Croatia are renowned for their impressive production line of youth footballers. Their highly organised football academy has so far produced world-class players such as Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Marko Pjaca and many others. Dinamo Zagreb play their home matches at the Stadion Maksimir in front of 35,000 people.
The club lacked support during the last couple of seasons due to fans’ disagreement with club management, most notably notorious Zdravko Mamic, who is under investigation for long-lasting corruption, tax evasion and embezzlement. For the first time since 2015, Dinamo Zagreb will have the full support of their most faithful supporters in the Champions League.