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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Villarreal sweating on the fitness of star man ahead of United clash

It seemed at one stage that the next time Manchester United were going to face Unai Emery was on 27th December when we travelled to St James’ Park.

But the Spaniard opted against taking the Newcastle reigns and has decided to stick with Villarreal.

That means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will have to face the former Arsenal manager once again in our Champions League trip to El Madrigal.

Villarreal CF v Getafe CF - La Liga Santander
(Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Victory against the Yellow Submarine would see us qualify for the last 16 from Group F, with Young Boys still to come to Old Trafford in the final group game.

After missing the 2-1 reverse fixture at the Theatre of Dreams, the Europa League winners are once again sweating on the fitness of their star man Gerard Moreno.

Moreno in race to be fit

FBL-EUR-C1-VILLARREAL-TRAINING
(Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Spanish international missed five games with a hamstring injury across September and October before making his comeback following the two-week international break in October.

In the two games Villarreal’s number seven started after recovering from injury, he scored two goals and made one assist.

But against Athletic Bilbao on 23rd October, Moreno was substituted after 21 minutes following a reoccurrence of his hamstring injury (Football Espana).

Moreno hasn’t featured since and wasn’t called-up to Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Villarreal CF v Atalanta: Group F - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Making their predictions for the starting line-up’s in the first La Liga matches after the November international break, Marca don’t include Moreno for Villarreal’s trip to Celta Vigo or full-back Juan Foyth.

However, Marca do acknowledge there is a possibility that both Moreno and the former Tottenham man may be fit to return.

But, Moreno, who was the Yellows’ top scorer last season with 30 goals, hasn’t completed back-to-back 90 minutes for Villarreal since August (Transfermarkt).

FBL-EUR-C3-VILLARREAL-MAN UTD
(Photo by ADAM WARZAWA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Solskjaer’s side know all about the 29-year-old’s goalscoring prowess after he opened the scoring in last season’s Europa League final.

Although the likes of Arnaut Danjuma and Paco Alcacer caused United plenty of problems in September, having Moreno would be a massive boost for Emery’s side.

United need all the luck we can get at the moment, so if Moreno doesn’t make the Champions League clash, it will be a much-welcomed boost for Solskjaer’s beleaguered stars.

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