villarreal vs zenit-petersburg Tip Reason:

Going away to Russia and getting a result is never easy, though Villarreal seemingly made light work of building an advantage ahead of the second leg, as they won by three goals to one in St. Petersburg a week ago. Having scored three away goals, it is Thursday’s Spanish hosts who have the advantage, so much so that they really ought to be progressing without too much fuss. Although they won by three goals to one last week, Villarreal weren’t overly impressive; they created just 0.9 expected goals for and conceded 1.73. In truth, they were fortunate to concede just once, while they certainly had luck on their side going forward. That said, it was the Spaniards who offered more in terms of overall class and end-product. Their performance in St. Petersburg may not have been a sparkling one, but Villarreal have certainly impressed at home in this competition, so much so that they should be capable of seeing off a Zenit side that has struggled on the road. Thursday’s hosts are unbeaten on their own patch in the Europa League this season, while they have posted some encouraging numbers. Going forward, they’re averaging 2.5 goals for and 1.75 expected goals for, while they’ve shipped an average of just 0.75 goals and 0.97 expected goals. Such numbers are encouraging. A repeat of the performance that saw them clock 1.94 expected goals for and concede just 0.48 against Sporting at this venue in the last round would surely be enough for the Yellow Submarine to progress courtesy of a second victory over their Russian opponents. While Villarreal have looked useful on their own patch, Zenit have found it tough to be at their best on the road. They lost away in Turkey in the previous round, while they also tasted defeat away against Slavia Prague during the groups. In fact, Zenit are without an away win in the Europa League this season. Even in qualifying, Zenit failed to win on their travels, as they lost away to both Minsk and Molde. Their results on the road have left much to be desired, while their underlying numbers are poor too. Thursday’s visitors have averaged a measly 0.5 goals for away from home in the UEL, while they’ve also averaged just 0.72 expected goals for. Furthermore, they’ve shipped an average of 1.83 goals and 1.38 expected goals. Such numbers do not bode well ahead of their trip to Spain. All in all, it’s very tough to oppose the hosts. Zenit were a tad unlucky last week, but they need to make use of home advantage in the first leg and they simply failed to do that. Now that they’re on the back foot, against a Villarreal side that is strong at home, the Russians are in big trouble. Backing the Spaniards to go through courtesy of a second-leg win is the only option.

Villarreal vs Zenit Petersburg Betting Prediction:

Villarreal 2 1 Zenit Petersburg
Tip: 1
Odds
2.00
Bookmaker

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Recommended BET Stakes : 7/10 units

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