Villarreal boss Unai Emery fears “extra motivated” Man United to be energised by Solskjaer sacking

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·2-min read
Villarreal boss Unai Emery fears “extra motivated” Man United to be energised by Solskjaer sacking
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Unai Emery expects a newly shaken-up Manchester United to take on his Villarreal side with “extra motivation” following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.

The Red Devils travel to the east coast of Spain on Tuesday evening for a Champions League clash under the tutelage of Michael Carrick.

Emery expects the caretaker to ditch many of the players who flopped against Watford on Saturday to try and spark United into life.

"They will find an extra motivation as it's the Champions League," Emery stated ahead of the game. "We know they are a strong team.

"They need to win and I don't think there will be many changes. Perhaps certain tactical ones will be made, but we must be prepared to play against Cristiano Ronaldo, [Harry] Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, [David] De Gea and all the other great players that United have.

"We have an opportunity tomorrow. We just want to compete, show our credentials, and enjoy it. Our last two Champions League results were good but we are facing the favourites."

Villarreal come into the game second in Group F, behind United on their head-to-head record, with both teams on seven points ahead of Atalanta on five.

And Emery, who knows what it is like to face the music at a top English side after being sacked by Arsenal in November 2019, expressed his empathy for Solskjaer.

"As a coach, you don't welcome the news that a colleague has lost his job," the Spaniard stated. "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 to see a very good Manchester United because of their players and the significance of this game."

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