Two managers with different experiences and resumes of success in continental competition prepare their sides for battle in Gdansk as Villarreal take on Manchester United in Wednesday’s Europa League final.
The Yellow Submarine sent Arsenal packing 2-1 on aggregate in the semi final to advance to the showpiece event.
However, Man United put eight past Roma over two legs as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer searches for his first piece of silverware since assuming office.
Villarreal’s La Liga campaign ended in disappointment with a 2-1 defeat to eventual runners-up Real Madrid on Saturday, whereas United secured victory in the Premier League by the same scoreline over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Villarreal boss Emery has is keen and have refused to rule out Chukwueze’s chances of making this week’s final, but having failed to make to give the impression against Real Madrid, the attacker is still a major doubt for the showpiece event.
Emery has a big call to make in between the sticks as Geronimo Rulli did not look at all convincing over the two legs of the semi-final, so Sergio Asenjo may earn a recall to the first XI for the final.
Carlos Bacca and Paco Alcacer are both looking for the chance to partner the irrepressible Moreno up top; the former was given the nod against Real Madrid but failed to flourish, so Alcacer will hope to come back in.
Ex-Arsenal man Francis Coquelin covered for the suspended Etienne Capoue at the Emirates last time out, but the latter’s return should see him partner midfield maestro Dani Parejo in Gdansk.
As for United, Solskjaer has offered a pessimistic update on the availability of Harry Maguire, who continues to battle back from an ankle injury but is now considered unlikely to be passed fit for the final.
Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof should therefore partner up in defence while Phil Jones misses out once more, and David de Gea is expected to get the nod in goal over Dean Henderson.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw will start in their regular roles in defence after being granted rests against Wolves.
Fred was not involved due to a minor knock but should be fine to partner the midfield alongside Scott McTominay.
Anthony Martial is out, but a complete overhaul of the forward line should see Amad Diallo and Daniel James make way for Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba – the latter playing in his newfound left-hand side role once more – while Mata has no chance of keeping his place over Bruno Fernandes despite his winner at Molineux.
Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani are both well-rested and desperate for the chance to lead the attack, but with five goals in his last three European outings, the veteran Uruguayan should be given the nod against his former boss Emery.
Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Trigueros, Capoue, Parejo, Yeremy; Moreno, Alcacer
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba; Cavani
Kickoff; 26th may. 20:00(GMT)
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