Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Villarreal will be looking to build on back-to-back wins over Sivasspor and Qarabag when they host Maccabi Tel Aviv at their Estadio de la Ceramica on Thursday evening. The Yellow Submarine kicked off their Europa League campaign in style, and they must be eager to keep their 100% record intact in Group I. Villarreal continue life without seriously-injured Dani Parejo, but the experienced midfielder was not missed in a 3-1 win at Qarabag.
Unai Emery has a number of high-profile footballers to choose from, and regardless of which players will be deployed in the starting XI, home win should be considered. Maccabi Tel Aviv, on the other hand, aim to build on back-to-back wins over Qarabag and Sivasspor, but given Villarreal’s impressive start to the season, the visitors are likely to return home empty-handed from the trip to Spain.
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 (Maccabi Tel Aviv):
Maccabi Tel Aviv are the oldest and probably the biggest clubs in Israel. The club was founded in 1906 and they have been playing an important role in the Israeli League ever since. In 2015 Maccabi won their 21st trophy in the national championship and the same season they clinched their 23rd Israeli Cup title.
The club’s fiercest rivals are Hapoel Tel-Aviv and they welcome their opponents at Netanya Stadium. The capacity of the venue is 13 610. The likes of Beitar Jerusalem Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Maccabi Haifa are considered Maccabi Tel Aviv’s bitter rivals as well. In 1969 the club won the AFC Champions League and they repeated the success two years later, beating Aliyat Al-Shorta in the final.
The likes of Jordi Cruyff, Paulo Sousa, Rade Prica, Moanes Dabour and Vincent Enyeama are the high-profile footballers who were part of the team in the past. The colour of Maccabi’s home kit is yellow and blue.