12 April 2019
La Liga rivals go head-to-head for the Europa League quarter-finals tie as Villarreal welcome Valencia to the Estadio de la Ceramica for the first leg.
With their LL status hanging up in the air, the hosts’ only chance to save a disastrous season is getting as far as they can in Europe. The Yellow Submarine’s drop-off in form has seen them gone from four straight wins across all competitions to three games without a victory (D1, L2). Although Javier Calleja’s men have struggled to impress for the majority of the season, they’ve managed to live up to expectations in Europe, especially when playing at home. Not only they are unbeaten at the Estadio de la Ceramica in the EL this term (W3, D2), but Villarreal have scored 2+ match goals four times across those clashes. A potential problem for Calleja, however, could be Villarreal’s defensive frailties that have seen them failed to preserve a clean slate in 10 of their last 11 home games across all competitions, allowing over 1.5 goals per match six times in the process.
Meanwhile, an unexpected 2-0 road loss to Rayo Vallecano last time out has brought the visitors’ 17-game unbeaten run to an end (W10, D7), and it was also the first time since late January that Valencia failed to hit the net away from home. The Bats were relegated to the EL knockout stage after struggling to go past the Champions League group phase – mainly thanks to the fact they’ve failed to wrap up all three points in all three of their CL road meetings (D2, L1). Far more comfortable at home, the Oranges have secured just four wins on their last 15 road trips across all competitions (W4, D5, L6), conceding at least one goal 13 times along the way.
Interestingly, all four of their previous H2H meetings at this venue have produced under 2.5 goals, with two of them ending with the identical 1-0 scoreline in Villarreal’s favor.
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