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RB Salzburg vs Villarreal: Predictions
The Austrian side will be aiming to carry their impressive domestic form into their Round of 32 tie against Villarreal. RB Salzburg have not tasted defeat since December which has seen Jesse Marsch’s side rise to the top of the Austrian Bundesliga with a narrow advantage on Rapid Wien.
Villarreal’s form contrasts that of Thursday’s hosts as the Spaniard’s have failed to record a win in their last four games. Unai Emery’s side have only registered two La Liga wins all year which has left the Yellow Submarine nine points off the Sevilla in fourth place.
Salzburg dropped out of the Champions League after being drawn in a group with Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid. However, they come up against a Villarreal side which dominated their Europa League group winning five and drawing once. The youngsters of Salzburg’s side will face one of the most successful managers in the history of the competition after Emery won three consecutive Europa League titles with Sevilla.
The Spaniards will be looking to pick up from their unbeaten group stage record if they hope to take an away goal advantage back to Spain. Emery’s side have struggled of late in La Liga but the young Salzburg side will be aiming to carry on from their 4-2 league win on the weekend.
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RB Salzburg vs Villarreal: Match Stats
Sekou Koita has been a constant threat in the Austrian Bundesliga which is demonstrated through his average position heat map.
Sekou Koita leads Salzburg’s top scorer tally this season with 14 goals in the Austrian Bundesliga. The Mali international has averaged a goal every 60 minutes in the league this season and after starting the weekend’s game on the bench he is expected to rejoin the starting XI with a set of fresh legs on Thursday.
No side has scored more goals in the Austrian Bundesliga than Salzburg (54) and the Austrian side will be aiming to continue their efficiency in front of goal as they come up against a Villarreal side which hasn’t kept a clean sheet in the last four games.
26 February 2015 – RB Salzburg 1-3 Villarreal – Europa League
19 February 2015 – Villarreal 2-1 RB Salzburg – Europa League
17 December 2009 – Villarreal 0-1 RB Salzburg – Europa League
1 October 2009 – RB Salzburg 2-0 Villarreal – Europa League
The two sides have only met four times in their history, but they both share two wins each across those Europa League clashes. Salzburg will be hoping their young squad can prevail against the experience of Unai Emery on Thursday night as he aims to add yet another Europa League title to his name.