- Salzburg have won six matches on the spin since returning from their winter break.
- The hosts are unbeaten in their last 15 Europa League home matches.
- Villarreal have failed to win any of their last four matches across all competitions.
Salzburg to preserve home fortress
Austrian outfit Salzburg have been in impressive form since returning from their winter break, as they have won all six of their matches, scoring 17 goals and conceding just three.
Jesse Marsch’s side also know what it takes to enjoy a deep run in the Europa League after reaching the semi-finals in 2018, while their home record in the competition is exemplary, as they are unbeaten in 15 such matches at the Red Bull Arena, with 12 of those games ending in victory.
Villarreal also know all about long unbeaten runs, as they avoided defeat in 19 matches on the spin earlier in the season, while they are yet to lose in the Europa League this term.
However, Unai Emery has seen his side’s form tail off over recent weeks, as Villarreal have failed to win any of their last four games.
The Yellow Submarine have also won just three of their last 12 away matches in La Liga, and if you couple that win Salzburg’s impressive home form, then it is difficult to predict anything other than a home victory on Thursday.
Our prediction is only for a narrow 1-0 Salzburg win though, which means Villarreal will still be very much in the tie heading into the return leg in Spain the following week.