Live match preview – Villarreal vs Man Utd 23.11.2021

Team news and stats ahead of Villarreal vs Manchester United in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday; kick-off 5.45pm.

Team news

Michael Carrick will select his first Man Utd XI as interim manager after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure on Sunday morning.

Luke Shaw was substituted with concussion during the 4-1 defeat to Watford at the weekend, while strikers Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood were also absent for the game. They will be assessed ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League encounter.

Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba are still sidelined, while Harry Maguire is available despite his domestic suspension.

Villarreal’s Juan Foyth returned from a hamstring injury during a 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo on Saturday and is likely to feature again this week. However, Gerard Moreno is set to remain sidelined.

Serge Aurier is ineligible for the Champions League group stages, while there are fitness doubts over Paco Alcacer, Sergio Asenjo, Etienne Capoue and Arnaut Danjuma.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Watford’s win over Manchester United

Follow live updates on and the Sky Sports app from 6.30pm on Wednesday; kick-off 8pm. Also follow on Gillette Soccer Special live on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm.

Group F – United through with win

If Man Utd beat Villarreal on Tuesday evening, they will go through to the knockout rounds with a game to spare. United head into Matchday 5 top of Group F on goal difference, and level on seven points with Unai Emery’s side.

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Both Atalanta and Young Boys can mathematically reach the last 16, sitting in third and fourth with five points and three points respectively.

Carrick: I’m here for however long I’m needed

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Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick insists he is not thinking about how long he will remain in charge of the team

Michael Carrick has said he will stand in as interim Manchester United manager for as long as he is needed.

Carrick has not been made aware of how long he will be at the Old Trafford helm for, with his focus simply being on getting the team ready for their vital Champions League clash with Villarreal on Tuesday night, where victory will see them through to the knockout stages.

“It’s been literally just over 24 hours since everything’s unfolded and the game is not much further away in terms of time, so that is my focus, all I am thinking about is the game tomorrow,” he said.

“I’m ready to help the club for however long I’m needed. And then I’ll go back to my job when someone else takes the job. I’m really looking forward to today and preparing the players. I’ll give it my best. Hopefully we get some good results.”

Captain Harry Maguire, appearing alongside Carrick at the press conference to look ahead to the Villarreal match, said players needed to take responsibility for the results that had led to Solskjaer’s exit.

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“It’s been a very hard time for the players, given the amount of respect that we have for the boss and what he’s done for a lot of us over the last two-and-a-half years,” Maguire said.

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Manchester United captain Harry Maguire says the players must take their share of the responsibility following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“Of course the players need to take responsibility for everything on the football field. We’re the ones that cross that white line. We were in it together as a group – the management and players – and ultimately the manager has paid the price.

“We’re all disappointed. We take huge responsibility. We haven’t been good enough as individuals and as a collective. We spoke about that. Now we’ve got to look forward to get the club back to where it was.”

Villarreal coach Emery also has sympathy for Solskjaer, saying Emery said: “As a coach, you don’t welcome the news that a colleague has lost his job. I have a lot of respect for Solskjaer because of his playing and coaching career. I’ve faced Solskjaer several times and above all, I value him as a great person.

“When there’s a coaching change, there’s a reaction one way or another. The focus will be more on the players than on the bench.

“The players know, even though they are professional and must always deliver, that they have to show their faces, for Manchester (United), for the coach that left and the one that has arrived or will come. I expect a very good Manchester United because of their players and the significance of this game.”

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Opta stats

  • This will be Villarreal’s sixth UEFA Champions League match against Manchester United, more than they’ve faced any other in the competition. The Yellow Submarine are winless in all five previous meetings (D4 L1).
  • Manchester United are unbeaten in five UEFA Champions League games against Villarreal (W1 D4) – they have only faced CSKA Moscow and Bayer Leverkusen more often without losing in the Champions League (six games each).
  • Since losing 2-1 to Manchester United, Villarreal have won each of their last two UEFA Champions League games, beating Young Boys twice. They are looking to win three consecutive matches in the competition for the very first time.
  • Manchester United have failed to keep a single clean sheet in the UEFA Champions League this season, shipping seven goals in their four games so far. It is the most they’ve conceded at this stage of a Champions League season since 1998-99 (also seven), though they went on to win the trophy that season.
  • Villarreal have never beaten an English club in the UEFA Champions League in 11 attempts (D6 L5), the most of any side has faced English opponents without winning in Champions League history.
  • Manchester United have only won seven of their last 24 away UEFA Champions League matches (D6 L11) and are winless in their last four on the road (D1 L3) since a 2-1 win at PSG last October.

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