Dinamo Zagreb vs. Villarreal – Europa League, April 8, 2021

By Ben Morris in Europa League
| April 8, 2021 6:13 am PDT

There seem to be a couple of clear-cut Europa League quarter-finalists this season, but making a Dinamo Zagreb vs. Villarreal prediction is no easy task.

The Croatian champions welcome the Yellow Submarine to Stadion Maksimir on Thursday, April 8, for what is set to be a closely fought first leg.

Before we get to my Dinamo Zagreb vs. Villarreal pick, let’s start by checking out the Europa League odds.

Dinamo Zagreb vs. Villarreal Odds

Dinamo Zagreb to Win3.60
The Draw3.35
Villarreal to Win2.05

The leading online sportsbooks are probably right to label Villarreal (2.05) as the favorite to win the first leg. But as you can see, the price for the away victory isn’t small.

Given that Dinamo Zagreb (3.60) overturned a two-goal deficit against EPL giant Tottenham in the previous round, the odds for the home win are bound to attract plenty of attention here.

Dinamo Zagreb vs. Villarreal Preview

Following a 2-0 first-leg loss to Spurs, it looked as though Dinamo’s Europa League campaign would end in the Round of 16. However, Damir Krznar’s men completed one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the tournament’s history.

A stunning hat-trick from Mislav Orsic saw Dinamo crush Tottenham 3-0 in the second leg – and now the Croatian champions will be confident of beating anyone.

Looking at the bigger picture, the Blues have only lost one of their ten Europa League games this term. On top of that, they have kept seven clean sheets in the process.

A seven-match winning streak in 1. HNL was finally brought to an end by Sibenik last weekend, although Krznar’s men managed to secure a draw. Dinamo remains at the summit of the Croatian top flight and has a game in hand over second-place Osijek.

The Blues have endured a turbulent season behind the scenes, yet the team’s performances haven’t been affected by the off-field issues.

On the flip side, Villarreal has yet to taste defeat in the Europa League this season.

After taking 16 points from a possible 18 in Group I, the Yellow Submarine went on to cruise past Red Bull Salzburg and Dynamo Kyiv in the opening knockout rounds.

Across the 4-1 triumph over Salzburg and the 4-0 victory over Dynamo, Gerard Moreno netted four goals, while Paco Alcacer and Fer Nino also added to their tallies.

With 23 goals and eight assists under his belt this season, Moreno is arguably in the form of his life right now. Alcacer (ten goals, four assists) and Nino (eight goals, one assist) have also chipped inconsistently throughout the campaign.

An eight-match winless run – five draws and three defeats – between January and March saw Villarreal plummet down the La Liga standings, but the club now heads into Thursday’s clash on the back of three straight wins in Spain’s top tier.

Moreno bagged a hat-trick as Villarreal crushed fellow Europa League quarter-finalist Granada last time out. Unai Emery’s men appear to have hit form at just the right time.

Dinamo Zagreb vs. Villarreal Betting Pick

Pick
  • The Draw
    3.35

There is no denying that Emery’s men have upped their game in recent weeks. Following a barren spell, Villarreal is definitely moving in the right direction again. However, we all know that Dinamo is no pushover.

The Blues will probably still be buzzing after their heroic comeback against Tottenham in the previous round. Because of that, I can see the home side snatching a draw on Thursday.

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