Nicknamed Yellow Submarine,’ after the Beatles song, Villarreal are consistently one of the best teams in La Liga and, recently, made their mark in Europe.
In the 2020/2021 season, Villarreal – a town with a population of just over 50,000 – became the smallest place to ever win a European trophy, after beating Manchester United in the Europa League final. They now look to build on that success, both in the Champions League and in La Liga.
Villarreal CF: Tactics, Principles
Villarreal are a great example of how to run a football club. For such a small town to have such success is rare in modern football and just shows what can be achieved with the right approach.
Businessman Fernando Roig invested millions into the infrastructure of the club, including fantastic training facilities, excellent youth development and a clear transfer policy. Over the years, Villarreal have built a clear identity that values hard work, team spirit and flair.
In terms of the team shape, current manager Unai Emery likes to experiment with a variety of formations. His trusted 4-4-2 has given way to a 4-2-3-1, with Arnau Danjuma and Samuel Chukwueze providing searing pace on the wings, and Gerard Moreno or Paco Alcácer leading the line.
Left winger Arnau Danjuma is a genuine threat. The Dutch winger has a style similar to that of PSG’s Mbappé. Expect him to start making a name for himself on the world stage.
Midfielder Manu Trigueros is Villarreal through and through. He’s been at the club his whole career and is integral to the way they play. Similar to Busquets at Barcelona or Jorginho at Chelsea, Trigueros sets the tempo and dictates the style of play. He’s the kind of unspectacular player who’s importance is only realised when you take him out of the side. He also chips in with his fair share of goals for the team.
Left back Alfonso Pedraza is encouraged to rampage forward and join the attack, while plenty of cover coming from Etienne Capoue and Francis Coquelin in the centre of midfield. Meanwhile, talismanic defenders Pau Torres and captain Raul Albiol bring a combination of steel and finesse at the back.
Villarreal CF: LA Liga PREDICTIONS & What to Expect
Villarreal generally finish in the top half of La Liga. If they are to move up the table, they will have to address their away form – something that’s held them back in previous seasons.
A more solid defence and midfield will be key to addressing this weakness away from home. On top of that, the strikers need to score more goals. A big part of their success in the past has been due to Gerard Moreno. But relying on one goal scorer isn’t a long term recipe for success. (Click to read our latest La Liga betting tips and predictions for today and tomorrow).
Bet 365 are offering odds of 150/1 that Villarreal will win this season’s La Liga.
Villarreal CF: UEFA Champions League PREDICTIONS & What to Expect
Villarreal have struggled in the Champions League in recent years. The last time they tasted any kind of success was way back in 2005/2006, when they were knocked out at the semi final stage by Arsenal.
Since then, they’ve had to mainly settle with being eliminated in the group stage. They look a much better team this season though, so if they are going to reach the latter stages of the competition, now is the time to do it.
Still, Villarreal’s away form is what could hold them back. If they are going to challenge for the Champions League, they’ll have to play much better on the road. (Click to read our latest UEFA Champions League betting tips and predictions for this week)
Villarreal are currently valued at 200/1 with Bet 365 to win the Champions League.
Villarreal CF: Copa del Rey PREDICTIONS & What to Expect
Villarreal have never won the Copa del Rey. The closest they came was reaching the semi finals in 14/15, losing to Barcelona.
Although Villarreal don’t often come close to the Copa del Rey, it might be an interesting bet to make this year. That’s because coach Unai Emery has proven himself to be something of a cup specialist, winning three consecutive Europa Leagues with Sevilla and Villarreal.
The wavering form of potential rivals should also be taken into consideration. Barcelona and Atlético Madrid have both been shaky in recent times, with the Catalans enduring a period of change over the past season or two, while Atlético Madrid aren’t as dangerous as they used to be.
Still, the likes of Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Sevilla will certainly be in the running to reach the Copa del Rey final. And while Villarreal would be an outside bet to lift the trophy, stranger things have happened.
Betway are offering odds of 25/1 that Villarreal will win this season’s Copa del Rey.