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Champions League preview: Villarreal vs Man Utd, Chelsea vs Juventus


Champions League preview: Villarreal vs Man Utd, Chelsea vs Juventus

Champions League preview: Villarreal vs Man Utd, Chelsea vs Juventus

Villarreal vs Man Utd

The post-Solskjaer era begins with caretaker manager Michael Carrick taking the reins as Man United head to El Madrigal on Tuesday. The visitors face a Villarreal side that almost earned a point at Old Trafford back in September, before Cristiano Ronaldo saved the day with a late, late winner.

The Spanish side are level on points with United in Group F, and Villarreal manager Unai Emery may feel that with United potentially in disarray, this could be a good time to face the Red Devils. Although let’s face it, he’d still probably prefer that Ole had been left in charge for this match.

Either way, the Yellow Submarine’s general form has not been outstanding, with one win in their last six outings in La Liga. That’s marginally better than United’s, who have one victory in seven league games.

Can Carrick inspire a reaction from his side? Can Emery add to his record as a canny coach when it comes to European competition? Can Ronaldo score again? Of those three questions, the latter seems the likeliest.

Ronaldo has scored in all four of the Champions League matches he’s played for United since returning to the club. He is 7/5 to find the net here, and it would be no shock if he played a starring role again.

Otherwise, it’s difficult to say whether the visitors will be fired up to put in a strong showing after recent setbacks – or instead,  with Carrick having been an integral part of the coaching set-up during Solskjaer’s reign, not that much will change.

Perhaps backing the stalemate is the smart play. The draw is a 49/20 shot.

Chelsea vs Juventus

There were question marks around Juventus thanks to a few iffy domestic performances this season, but the Old Lady have already qualified for the last 16 after winning all four of their Champions League matches so far. Max Allegri’s side won the reverse fixture 1-0 back in September.

Chelsea have won five of their last six league games, though, and should have won against Burnley too. The Blues shrugged off that unfortunate draw with a comfortable 3-0 win away against Leicester this weekend. Given the way Chelsea are dominating games at the moment, a home win would seem the likely outcome.

Timo Werner seems likely to return for the Blues on Tuesday night, and Thomas Tuchel suggested there was a possibility Romelu Lukaku could also “maybe” make an appearance “for the last minutes”.

Chelsea are 8/13 to win – and 31/20 to win to nil, which would have paid off in six of Chelsea’s last eight matches in all competitions. If you believe Werner can make an immediate impact on his return, the 25-year-old is 5/1 to be the first goal scorer.

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