Home Villarreal CF

22/02/2018 Kick Off:  6:00 pm El Madrigal V Predicted Score:2 - 1

Away Olympique Lyonnais

Match Summary

1 Look out for:

Fekir has 19 goals in all competitions so far this season, with three goals in the Europa League, including the second goal in the first leg.

He has developed into one of the hottest attacking talents in Europe this season, and Lyon may find themselves at the centre of a bidding war for him this summer.

Given his goal record he will be a threat on Thursday night, and he is 11/2 to score first.

2 We fancy:

Villarreal have given themselves a tough task to turn this two-legged clash around, and the third goal for Lyon a week ago may be crucial in deciding qualification.

The two goal cushion allows Lyon to dictate the game better, and given their attacking unit of Fekir and Co they pose a consistent threat.

Villarreal have a fine recent record in this competition, but the sense is that they have given themselves just a little too much to do to qualify. They may well win the second leg, with a 2-1 home win at 15/2, but qualification is another matter.

3 It's a long shot, but…

With Villarreal needing to chase the game, Lyon are in an interesting position in regard to how they approach this game tactically.

Genesio knows that his team is top heavy towards the likes of Fekir, Depay and Mariano, and this season they have shown that their best form of defence is a potent offensive unit.

Fekir to score his 20th goal of the season, and Lyon to win the game is priced at 9/2.

Team News

Villarreal CF's Last Six:

Won: 2 Drawn: 1 Lost: 3

The Spanish side have an injury concern over midfielder Samu Castillejo, who was withdrawn in the first leg.

He missed the weekend draw with Espanyol, and faces a race against time to be fit, with Roberto Soriano set to step in.

Olympique Lyonnais' Last Six:

Won: 2 Drawn: 1 Lost: 3

Lyon should have a fully fit squad to pick from ahead of the second leg.

With their attacking quartet of Nabil Fekir, Memphis Depay, Mariano Diaz and Bertrand Traore all fit.

Villarreal CF vs Olympique Lyonnais Betting Tips, Preview & Predictions

Villarreal face an uphill battle at El Madrigal after a first leg defeat

Lyon grabbed the initiative in the second half last week, and a powerful attacking display has put them in the driving seat to qualify for the last 16.

Villarreal will be disappointed by their performance a week ago in France, but they have a big chance to put it right on Thursday at El Madrigal.

The Yellow Submarine are in their worst run of form this season, with no win in their last four games ahead of Lyon’s visit, but they have lost just once at home in 2018.

This home record will be tested by Lyon, but Villarreal are rightly favourites to win the second leg – priced at 21/20, and they look likely to pick up a win.

The issue is qualification, and given Lyon’s two goal advantage they are still favourites to qualify for the next round, even if they lose, priced at 2/9.

Both sides will go for it in an attacking sense, with Villarreal having to adopt that approach if they are to have any chance of resetting the tie, and Lyon because their strength lies in attack rather than defence.

Lyon have netted seven goals in their last four games, and Villarreal have scored four in four ahead of Thursday night’s game -and given the balance of the tie, an over 2.5 goals bet priced 8/13 at is an intriguing option.

Predicted Score: Villarreal CF 2 - 1 Olympique Lyonnais

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Written by Feargal Brennan

Feargal Brennan is a long-suffering Everton fan who turned to European football for respite from the Toffees’ struggles. A frequent radio contributor, Feargal writes on football and betting and is an expert in how to cope when you support a forever frustrating football team.