MX23RW : Wednesday, December 9 18:42:11| >> :600:87464:87464:
Nov 26, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at Sammy Ofer Stadium
Maccabi Tel AvivMaccabi Tel Aviv
Pesic (47')
Kandil (43'), Tenenbaum (79')
Saborit (89')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Baena (45')
Coquelin (26'), Funes Mori (73'), Pena (89')

Preview: Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Villarreal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Villarreal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Villarreal travel to Israel to face Maccabi Tel Aviv knowing that victory will secure their place in the Europa League last 32.

However, the home side welcome the Spanish outfit to the Bloomfield Stadium with the opportunity to move level on points with the leaders of Group I.

Match preview

Villarreal manager Unai Emery pictured in October 2020© Reuters

When Unai Emery was handed the reins at Villarreal, he would have viewed the job as the perfect opportunity to rebuild a dented reputation on the continent.

Within the space of a few months, the former Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal boss will feel that he has made huge strides in achieving that goal, losing just one of his opening 12 matches in charge.

In their latest outing, Villarreal recorded a 1-1 draw at home to La Liga champions Real Madrid, a result which has kept the Yellow Submarine in third position in the standings.

Although Emery has taken the chance to rotate his squad on the European front, 12 goals have been scored from their three fixtures against Sivasspor, Qarabag FK and Maccabi.

The dozen strikes have been shared among seven players, highlighting the strength in depth which Emery has at his disposal as he bids to win this competition for the fourth time.

From Maccabi's perspective, they will be motivated to atone for the 4-0 drubbing which they received at Estadio de la Ceramica earlier this month.

Giorgos Donis's side did not do themselves justice as they failed to build on their previous triumphs, and it has left the Israeli side looking over their shoulders to third-placed Sivasspor.

Since that setback, hard-fought wins have been recorded over Bnei Sakhnin and Hapoel Hadara, moving the club into sixth position in the domestic standings.

However, Maccabi have now gone 12 matches without scoring more than twice in a game, something which Donis will want to change during an important few weeks for the club.

Maccabi Tel Aviv Europa League form: WWL
Maccabi Tel Aviv form (all competitions): DWDLWW

Villarreal Europa League form: WWW
Villarreal form (all competitions): DWWWWD

Team News

Villarreal's Carlos Bacca celebrates scoring against Maccabi Tel Aviv on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Emery will almost certainly hand recalls to many of the players who started the reverse fixture.

That would see Takefusa Kubo and Carlos Bacca handed rare appearances in the first XI, while Juan Foyth is in line to feature in defence after injury.

Donis is expected to make changes in tactics and personnel, potentially going with the team which prevailed at the weekend.

That would see former Blackburn Rovers forward Nick Blackman drop out of the side which suffered defeat in Spain.

Maccabi Tel Aviv possible starting lineup:
Daniel; Yeini, Hernandez, Saborit; Kandil, Ben Chaim, Peretz, Glazer, Piton; Pesic, Cohen

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Rulli; Pena, Foyth, Mori, Costa; Baena, Iborra, Parejo; Kubo, Bacca, Pino

SM words green background

We say: Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-2 Villarreal

Despite their capitulation before the November international break, we expect a far stronger showing from Maccabi on Thursday night. Nevertheless, Emery will want qualification done and dusted as soon as possible, and the visitors could edge a hard-fought encounter.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


Who will win Thursday's Europa League clash between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Villarreal?

Maccabi Tel Aviv
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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane pictured in November 2020
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