Competition: Europa League Date: Thursday 15th September 2016 Venue: El Madrigal Kick-Off: 20:05
Villarreal striker Alexander Pato could be a doubt for this Thursday’s Europe League tie aftyer picking up an ankle injury and is joining long term absentees Cedric Bakambu (hamstring) and Roberto Soldado (cruciate ligament) on the sidelines.
The hosts are likely to start the same attacking pairing of Rafael Borre and Nicola Sansone, after their 2-0 league win over Malaga at the Estadio La Roselda last week.
On the other hand, FC Zurich travel to Spain with no new injury concerns and are likely to start Slovenian forward Dzengis Cavusev who was on target at the weekend.
Villarreal start their Europa League campaign on Thursday night, when they play host to FC Zurich in the opening Group L clash at the Estadio El Madrigal.
The Yellow Submarine reached the semi-final stages of the competition last season, but were knocked out by Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
In the league, Fran Escribá’s men remain unbeaten in their opening three matches which included a 2-0 victory away to Malaga last weekend, and they’ll be looking to continue that momentum against their mid-week opposition.
As for Zurich, they head into the European tie in fine form looking to make it seven straight wins in all competitions, and are currently top of the Swiss SuperLiga.
Last season, the Swiss side only manage to reach the third qualifying round of the competition after elimination to Dinamo Minsk, so they’ll be looking forward challenging in the group stages and will be aiming to book a place in the knock out stages.
Both sides have only met twice in their history, going back to the 2014/15 Europa League campaign, with Zurich recording a 3-2 home win and Villarreal picking up a 4-1 victory at the El Madrigal.
Asenjo (GK), Gaspar, Musacchio, Ruiz, Costa, Castillejo, Bruno, Trigueros, Soriano, Borre, Sansone
Vanins (GK), Voser, Kecojevic, Nef, Brunner, Yapi-Yapo, Sarr, Winter, Rodriguez, Buff, Cavusevic
The two sides last met in this competition two years ago, where Zurich won 3-2 at home whilst Villarreal won 4-1 in Spain.
In the two meetings between the two sides there has been a total of 10 goals scored.