Europa League final key players: Four men to watch
The Europa League final between Manchester United and Villarreal takes place on Wednesday night but who are the key players that can provide the spark to help lift the trophy in Poland?
We’re looking at two players from each team that could influence the result in Gdansk for our Europa League final key players preview.
The 34-year-old Uruguayan made a slow start to life at Old Trafford with just seven goals in his first 28 appearances but he has proved invaluable in the last couple of months with nine goals in 10 and can be backed at 8/5 to get on the scoresheet.
Cavani proved the catalyst for United’s comeback victory against Roma in the first leg when his two goals either side of half-time ensured an insurmountable 6-2 victory and he scuppered thoughts of a Roman recovery in the return with another double.
Last week’s long-range chip against Fulham was one of the goals of the season but it’s his subtle movements in the box which have been the hallmark of a successful season and his goals saw him extend his deal by another year earlier this month.
The Portugal international has been an unqualified success since joining the club from Sporting 16 months ago.
Fernandes was in the running for the Premier League’s Golden Boot but finished just a few goals shy of eventual winner Harry Kane, although he is favourite to score in the final at 13/8.
The creative midfielder possesses an exquisite right foot which he uses to good effect as United’s penalty taker and only three players have provided more assists than him in this season’s Europa League.
Moreno has been sensational for Villarreal in La Liga this season, finishing the campaign as the second top scorer with 23 goals, five fewer than Lionel Messi’s 28 for Barcelona.
The 29-year-old striker, in his second spell with the Yellow Submarine following his return from Espanyol three years ago, has also been exceptional in the Europa League, scoring
six goals in this season’s competition and he also tops the assists charts with team-mate Samuel Chukwueze and Braga’s Galeno with five.
Moreno’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by Premier League clubs, especially Leicester who have been linked with a move for the Spain international, a 15/8 shot to score any time against United.
Raul Albiol and Pau Torres have been excellent at the back for Villarreal but perhaps the most influential player is Parejo, who Unai Emery knew well from his time as coach of Valencia where the central midfielder spent 10 years.
Such was Emery’s confidence in the player the club offered him a four-year deal at the age of 32 and his experience has proved invaluable during their unbeaten run in the competition.
Where: Gdansk Stadium
When: 20:00, Wednesday 26th May
How to watch: BT Sport website/BT YouTube channel (both free)
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication