With Villarreal set to meet Manchester United in the Europa League final in Gdansk on Wednesday, Eurosport Spain’s David Orenes gave us the lowdown on Unai Emery’s side.
What is the context of this final for the club and their current state?
There is a lot of meaning in Villarreal with this final. The club has fought to make history in Europe for more than 15 years and they will play the first final, proud to represent a humble city. Ten planes will take off from Valencia with more than 2,000 fans.
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The team is focused, the fact of losing to Real Madrid at the weekend had more to do with the victories of their other rivals in the Europa League (Real Betis and Real Sociedad), than with concentration errors. They are not favourites, but they know they can beat Manchester United after already beating Arsenal.
Which players should concern Man Utd the most?
Gerard Moreno is the most important player in the club. His season has been spectacular (he’s in the top three La Liga goal scorers) and he is going to be the starting striker for Spain in the European Championships. He doesn't just score goals though: he is very clever with great decision-making.
Pau Torres (wanted by Manchester United) is a Spanish centre-back with a bright future, Dani Parejo is essential at the heart of the midfield and Carlos Bacca performed at a high level towards the end of the season. Samuel Chukwueze's injury is a problem - he was the most dangerous and fastest player on the team.
What do you think is the key to Villarreal winning the final?
Villarreal are, at times, very inconsistent in their game. The key will be to be solid at the back, be practical in defence, know when not to rush, and when to be brave. If the two centre-backs (Pau and Raul Albiol) and Gerard Moreno are inspired, the Yellow Submarine has everything to succeed.
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How is Emery viewed by the fans and what would this mean for him?
Unai Emery came to Villarreal as a highly prestigious coach. The fans will not forget that he is the first coach to lead the team to a European final, but in La Liga the performance has been disappointing. He will be forgiven for everything if he wins the final against Manchester United, and will be watched with a magnifying glass from next season if he loses it.
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