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Villarreal vs Zenit Petersburg Prediction & Betting tips
The Spanish Villarreal has to fight against relegation in its own country, but in the Europa League the team is very successful this season. The Spaniards won no less than 1-3 last week at the Russian top club Zenit Saint-Petersburg and are already standing with one leg in the quarterfinals of the Europa League.
From dying after death to being alive and kicking, that is the current situation of Villarreal in a nutshell. The Spaniards must fear relegation in their own country, but they are always able to surprise in Europe. After the elimination of Sporting CP, Zenit St Petersburg was also convincingly tied to the Spanish victory cart last week: 1-3. Villarreal was able to look back on a strong match and had a firm grip on the reins from the first to the last whistle in the Krestovsky Stadium.
Trainer Javi Calleja hoped that Villarreal could take its European form to La Liga. His wish came true, thanks to last weekend’s 0-2 victory over fellow countryman Levante, Villarreal managed to escape from the Spanish relegation zone for the first time in three months. El Submarino Amarillo can finally breathe relieved again, although the differences in the tail of La Liga are still very small. It is therefore obvious that Calleja will keep several key players aside this Thursday, just like last week in the first game, although we now know that the reserves of Villarreal can also kick a ball.
Zenit Saint Petersburg:
Zenit Saint Petersburg must lick its wounds. Until that dramatic evening of last week, the Russians had already won their European home games this season, including that memorable 8-1 (!) Win over Dinamo Minsk in mid-August. The team of Sergei Semak was therefore also the logical favorite at home against Villarreal, but once inside the lines the team was completely absent.
Was it underestimation, was it a lack of competition rhythm because of the long Russian winter break, or did the blue and white simply have a collective off-day? No idea. What I do know is that the Russians are on the edge of the European abyss. Zenit St Petersburg will have to score at least three goals in and against Villarreal in order to keep dreaming of a place in the quarterfinals of the Europa League. However, the outlook is not particularly favorable, as the Russians never managed to make more than a goal in away games in the Europa League at this time of the year. In addition, they lost star player Leandro Paredes to Paris Saint-Germain this winter, Italian midfielder Claudio Marchisio is still sidelined due to injury and attacker Aleksandr Kokorin is still behind bars due to a violent crime. One of the few bright spots is the form of winter purchase Sardar Azmoun, which in no time has grown to become one of Zenit St Petersburg’s flaps.
Villarreal vs Zenit Petersburg head to head matches
07.03.19 EL Zenit Petersburg Villarreal 1 : 3
21.02.08 EL Villarreal Zenit Petersburg 2 : 1
13.02.08 EL Zenit Petersburg Villarreal 1 : 0