MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 08:25:59| >> :60:799:799:
Mar 18, 2021 at 8pm UK at Estadio de la Cerámica
Dynamo KievDynamo Kiev
Moreno (13', 36')
Trigueros (17'), Parejo (43')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Preview: Villarreal vs. Dynamo Kiev - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Villarreal boast a 2-0 lead over Dynamo Kiev heading into Thursday's Europa League last-16 second leg at Estadio de la Ceramica.

Pau Torres poked in a first-half opener and Raul Albiol netted on his 100th European appearance to give the Spanish side a commanding two-goal advantage.

Match preview

Villarreal manager Unai Emery pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Dynamo were unbeaten in 10 competitive matches heading into last week's first leg, but they struggled to put up much of a fight against Villarreal at the NSK Olimpiyskiy.

The Ukrainian Premier League leaders failed to register a single shot on target and now have to score at least twice on Thursday to stay in the competition.

Coming away from Estadio de la Ceramica with a victory will be a huge challenge, though, as Villarreal have won each of their last four home games in the Europa League.

That is the Yellow Submarine's longest such run in this competition since an eight-game streak from October 2015 to September 2016, keeping a clean sheet in two of those four games.

Villarreal used their first-leg win as a catalyst to get their La Liga season back on track at the weekend with a 3-1 victory at Eibar, moving them to within two points of the top six.

Dynamo Kiev manager Mircea Lucescu pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Kiev also picked up a league victory on Sunday, with quickfire goals from Artem Besedin and Serhiy Sydorchuk earning them a 2-0 triumph at Zorya Luhansk.

A repeat scoreline on Thursday is now the task for the Ukrainians, though as head coach Mircea Lucescu admitted after the first leg, even being involved at this stage is a bonus.

Villarreal are undoubtedly the favourites to advance, especially considering that they have progressed from nine of the previous 10 knockout ties when winning the first leg.

Dynamo's only previous away game against Villarreal, incidentally, was a UEFA Cup match in 2004-05, which they lost 2-0 - a young Santi Cazorla on target for the Spaniards that day.

Villarreal Europa League form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Villarreal form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Dynamo Kiev Europa League form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L

Dynamo Kiev form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Villarreal's Gerard Moreno celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Real Madrid on November 21, 2020© Reuters

Torres was absent for Villarreal's win at Eibar through injury and remains a fitness doubt for the visit of Dynamo.

That could force Emery into a reshuffle at the back, with Jaume Costa a contender to fill in at right-back and Juan Foyth slotting into the middle.

Francis Coquelin and Ruben Pena are the home side's other injury doubts, while Alberto Moreno and Vicente Iborra are definitely out.

As for Kiev, they could be without as many as six injured players for Thursday's clash.

Tudor Baluta, Benjamin Verbic, Denys Harmash, Volodymyr Kostevych, Mykyta Burda and Ruslan Neshcheret are all nursing injuries and are unlikely to recover in time to feature.

Lucescu's options are somewhat limited, then, with Besedin and Vitaliy Buyalskiy once again likely to link up in attack.

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Rulli; Costa, Foyth, Albiol, Pedraza; Trigueros, Capoue, Parejo; Chukwueze, Alcacer, Moreno

Dynamo Kiev possible starting lineup:
Bushchan; Kedziora, Popov, Zabarnyi, Mykolenko; Tsygankov, Sydorchuk, Shaparenko, Rodrigues; Buyalskiy; Besedin

SM words green background

We say: Villarreal 2-1 Dynamo Kiev (4-1 on agg)

Dynamo Kiev have been in good form over the past two months, but last week's two-goal loss on home soil has left them with it all to do in this return leg.

Villarreal are no strangers to competing in the latter stages of this competition and have won five in a row on the continent, so we are backing them to ease through.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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