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Villarreal v Bayern Munich – Preview, Predictions, and Best Bets

Villarreal welcome Bayern Munich to the Estadio de la Cerámica in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg

Villarreal welcome Bayern Munich to the Estadio de la Cerámica in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday. Both sides picked up hugely impressive second leg victories in the last round as Unai Emery’s side won 3-0 at Juventus and Die Roten thrashed Salzburg 7-1. Bayern are superb in away matches in this competition (unbeaten in 25 with 20 wins) and are major favourites to win this first leg in Spain.

Villarreal Form

The Yellow Submarine started 2022 in good form, going six unbeaten in all competitions with some enterprising attacking displays. They scored 15 goals in those matches as Unai Emery let his side off the leash somewhat. Having drawn 1-1 with Juventus in the last 16 first leg at home, they won 3-0 in the return fixture in Torino. Having played very defensively, three second-half goals against the run of play with two penalties sealed a famous win.

Their form of late aside from that victory has been poor. They lost 1-0 at Osasuna, 1-0 at Cadiz, and 2-0 at Levante in their La Liga with just one win in four in the league. That has seen them fall 12 points off the top four places with just eight matches to play.

Villarreal Team News

Unai Emery is sweating over the availability of Nigerian right-winger Samuel Chukwueze. He missed the weekend’s match and remains doubtful for this one. Boulaye Dia is a doubt too but everyone else should be available bar Alberto Moreno, who is injured long-term.

Gerard Moreno being fit to start up front is huge. Arnaut Danjuma has done so well as a central striker that fitting both won’t be easy. The latter could move to the left with Giovani Lo Celso on the right-wing.

Villarreal Motivation

Emery is a pragmatic coach and won’t deviate from using a low-to-mid block with very compact units. His side knows it is key to win this home match but they will not open up at any stage.

Villarreal will hope to nick a 1-0 win here by absorbing pressure, they going to Munich and playing ultra defensively. Having said that, they have scored in all but one match in Europe this season.

Bayern Form

Bayern have lost just once in 12 matches in all competitions but their displays have been below par at times. After losing 4-2 at Bochum, they could not turn 71% possession and 22 shots into more than a 1-1 first-leg draw at Salzburg. They won the second leg 7-1 as Robert Lewandowski got a hattrick, though.

In the Bundesliga, they surprisingly only drew 1-1 at home with Bayer Leverkusen and 1-1 at Hoffenheim on either side of the Salzburg second leg. They have won their two league matches 4-0 vs Union Berlin and 4-1 at Freiburg with six different players on target.

Bayern Team News

Die Roten have their most complete squad of the season so far perhaps. Corentin Tolisso, Bouna Sarr, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are absent but none would have started. The huge news is that Alphonso Davies has passed all his heart checks and is in line to start this one according to Nagelsmann.

If he does play, then Lucas Hernandez would move centrally and only one of Niklas Sule, Dayot Upamecano, and impressive teenager Tanguy Nianzou would start. Leon Goretzka is back to partner Joshua Kimmich and everything looks more balanced now. Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry are fighting for the final spot on the wing.

Bayern Motivation

Bayern are expected to use a 4-2-3-1 and will immediately have fewer gaps and weaknesses than the innovative 3-2-5 shape that Nagelsmann used when he had injuries.

They will go out to win this match and to attack and dominate. A draw is no disaster but they won’t play for one knowing the difficulties Villarreal could give in the second leg with anything to hold onto.

Key Stats

Villarreal have lost 3 of their last 5 matches (all comps)

Villarreal have won 1 of 4 home CL matches this season (DWLD)

Villarreal are unbeaten in 9 home matches (all comps)

Bayern have lost 1 of their last 29 CL matches

Bayern have won 8 of their last 9 in the CL (31 goals scored, 5 clean sheets)

FC Bayern have lost since 2017 on the road in the CL (W20, D5)


Emery’s side will make life very difficult for Bayern in this one. However, the German side are imperious in this competition and have 20 wins and five draws in their last 25 away Champions League matches. They should have enough to win this match even if they leak a goal.

Best Bet: Bayern Munich win and over 2.5 goals at 2.10
Multiplier Leg: Bayern win/draw double chance + over 2.5 goals at 1.80
Correct Score Bet: Villarreal 1-2 Bayern Munich at 8.50

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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