Dinamo Zagreb produced one of the all-time best comebacks in the Europa League in the previous round, but they will face another huge task if they are the reach the last four of the competition, as they come up against La Liga side Villarreal.
Europa League Preview
Very few would have given Dinamo Zagreb a hope when the draw for the round of 16 was made, as they came up against Tottenham Hotspur. Those chances of progression would have been seen as nearly impossible after a 2-0 first leg defeat in London against Spurs. However, they upset the odds to come back from the disadvantage to progress 3-2. Their second leg performances was one of the best performances from Zagreb in many years, as Spurs were resorted to bringing on their wealth of attacking quality, but they still couldn’t find a way through. The hero on the night was Mislav Orsic, who scored a stunning hat-trick. There was no fluke about the win, as Zagreb were the better team throughout the contest, but this will be another huge challenge for them to overcome.
Villarreal are seen by some as one of the outstanding chances to win the Europa League this season, and they furthered those claims in the previous round by sailing past Dynamo Kiev. The result never looked to be in danger, as Villarreal conceded just two shots on target in the 180 minutes that were played between the two sides. The Spanish side took control of the tie with a 2-0 away win, before completing the job with the same result back in Spain. Gerard Moreno scored both goals in the second leg victory. Moreno will be the player that Zagreb will need to keep quiet on Thursday, as he has already scored 23 goals in 31 games this season.
Dinamo Zagreb vs Villarreal Head To Head
Dinamo Zagreb and Villarreal’s only previous meetings came in this very competition back in the 2010-11 season. Both sides picked up a victory during the group stage. Zagreb won their home game 2-0, before losing 3-0 in the return game back in Spain.
Dinamo Zagreb vs Villarreal Prediction
Zagreb’s second leg performance against Spurs was outstanding, and that is the quality that they will need to be at once again against Villarreal. However, we struggle to see anything other than an away win given the form that the Spanish side has shown in the competition this season.
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