MX23RW : Sunday, January 17 01:48:15| >> :600:128138:128138:
Dec 3, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at Yeni Sivas 4 Eylül Stadyumu

Fajr (60'), Appindangoye (79')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Chukwueze (75')
Pena (61')

Preview: Sivasspor vs. Villarreal - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Villarreal square off against Sivasspor on Thursday evening looking to claim at least a draw as they bid to qualify for the Europa League knockout stages.

While the home side could be eliminated from the competition with defeat, victory over the Spanish outfit would leave them one point off top spot in Group I.

Match preview

Villarreal manager Unai Emery pictured in October 2020© Reuters

With his side having performed consistently since his arrival in the summer, Villarreal boss Unai Emery would have been disappointed with the 1-1 draw against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

However, his second-string XI did enough to put the club on the brink of the last 32, and avoiding defeat in Turkey would ensure that the pressure is off heading into matchday six.

Having regularly rotated his squad for this competition, Emery's team selection is unlikely to change next week, but the Spaniard may feel that his players could benefit from a game with lower stakes.

Following their draw with La Liga champions Real Madrid, the Yellow Submarine recorded draws at Maccabi and domestic leaders Real Sociedad, extending an unbeaten record which has now reached 12 games.

Emery's main focus is on continuing to hold a top-four spot in Spain's top flight, but he will be eager for his much-changed team to make another positive impression in Turkey.

Sivasspor have been desperately poor on the domestic front with a five-match winless streak leaving the club down in 16th position.

Nevertheless, back-to-back victories over Qarabag FK have given Riza Calimbay's side a realistic chance of progressing to the knockout rounds of this competition for the first time in their history.

There will still be regret over how they imploded in the reverse fixture against Villarreal, conceding goals in quick succession at the start and end of the contest to lose 5-3.

However, that game proved that they are capable of scoring goals against higher-level opponents, and Olarenwaju Kayode is looking to add to his four goals from just 221 minutes in this competition.

Sivasspor Europa League form: LLWW
Sivasspor form (all competitions): DWLDWL

Villarreal Europa League form: WWWD
Villarreal form (all competitions): WWWDDD

Team News

Sivasspor's Olarenwaju Kayode celebrates scoring against Qarabag in the Europa League on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Calimbay is expected to hand a recall to Kayode, who only started among the replacements against Qarabag last week.

Isaac Cofie may also come back into the Sivasspor XI, potentially at the expense of Robin Yalcin.

The Villarreal side will resemble the one which began against Maccabi, resulting in further starts for Juan Foyth and Ramiro Funes Mori at the back.

Carlos Bacca picked up an injury against Sociedad at the weekend, meaning that Gerard Moreno could be used in attack.

Sivasspor possible starting lineup:
Samassa; Goiano, Appindangoye, Osmanpasa, Ciftci; Cofie, Claudemir; Gradel, Kone, Ninga; Kayode

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Rulli; Pena, Foyth, Mori, Pedraza; Trigueros, Coquelin; Chukwueze, Baena, Kubo; Moreno

SM words green background

We say: Sivasspor 1-2 Villarreal

While the reverse fixture produced eight goals, supporters will expect a more tense affair on Thursday evening. However, Villarreal boast the better quality in all areas of the pitch, and we feel that the visitors will battle their way to a hard-fought win.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data


How you voted: Sivasspor vs Villarreal

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Austria Wien's Olarenwaju Kayode on September 9, 2016
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