Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Estadio de la Ceramica will host all-Spanish clash between Villarreal and Valencia, who face each other in the Europa League quarter-finals, first leg. Villarreal booked their place in the quarter-finals by beating Zenit in the double-header, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry in Thursday’s football match against the fellow La Liga side. A man to watch in the home team will be Toko Ekambi, who has found his goal-scoring touch of late.
Los Che, on the other hand, proved their worth in a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in their penultimate league fixture, but beating the Yellow Submarine on the road is easier said than done. Both sides are likely to adopt a cautious approach in the first leg and we believe that there is a big value in betting on draw. It has to be noted that Villarreal are undefeated in previous five home games in the Europa League.
Highlighted Player (Karl Toko-Ekambi):
Karl Toko Ekambi is a professional footballer who plays for Ligue 1 club Angers as a striker. Ekambi was born in Paris on September 14 1992, but he does not represent les Tricolores on the international stage. The 183-cm-tall attacker plays for Cameroon and it has to be noted that he made his senior debut for les Lions Indomptables in a 3-2 win over Burkina Faso back in June, 2015.
Ekambi came as a substitute in the 77th minute of the match, replacing fellow attacker Mengolo. The Cameroonian footballer played for Paris FC during his youth career and he made his first-team debut for the capital club on April 26, 2011 in a 2-2 draw with Beauvais. Karl Toko Ekambi scored 21 goals in 66 appearances for Paris from 2010 to 2014 and at the end of the 2013/2014 season he joined Sochaux.
After netting 25 goals in 72 appearances for the club, in the summer of 2016 Ekambi signed a contract with Angers which expires on June 30, 2020.
Highlighted Team (Valencia):
Founded on March 18, 1919, Valencia FC are a Spanish football club that compete in La Liga. Los Che play their home games at Estadio de Mestalla, the stadium which was opened back in May, 1923. The capacity of the venue is 50,000. Seeing that bats are quite common in Valencia, it is no surprise they are nicknamed the Bats.
Valencia made it to the Champions League final on two occasions (2000, 2001), but they were beaten in the title games by Real Madrid and Bayern Munchen respectively. The Spanish club, though, did well to win the UEFA Cup title in the 2003/2004 season, with the team beating Marseille in the final of the competition.
A number of top-class footballers were part of the club in the past, with the likes of Pablo Aimar, Ruben Baraja, David Albelda, Santiago Canizares, John Carew and Gaizka Mendieta all playing for the Estadio de Mestalla outfit. Valencia main colors are white and black, whilst they often where orange jerseys and shorts when playing on the travels.