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Manchester City FC and Villarreal CF are both still seeking a first victory in Group A going into the first of their back-to-back meetings in north west England.
• City took their first UEFA Champions League point when drawing at home to SSC Napoli but their subsequent defeat at FC Bayern München leaves them just a point better off than Juan Carlos Garrido's Villarreal, beaten at home by Bayern and at Napoli in their opening two games.
• Villarreal are bidding to avoid two unwanted firsts – the Madrigal club have never lost three successive European ties and have never failed to qualify from the group stage of a UEFA club competition, two of their six successful campaigns coming in the UEFA Champions League.
• Villarreal might have chosen a more hospitable venue to turn their fortunes around; City are unbeaten in 13 European home matches, their last reverse coming against FC Midtjylland in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup second qualifying round.
• City have faced Spanish visitors twice before. They beat Athletic Club 3-0 at their former home Maine Road to earn a 6-3 aggregate victory in the first round of the club's triumphant 1969/70 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaign. They then held Valencia CF 2-2 in a 1972/73 UEFA Cup first round tie before succumbing 2-1 in Spain.
• City's only other encounter with a Spanish team was a 3-1 reverse at Real Racing Club in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage.
• Although Villarreal won 2-1 at Everton FC when they first visited England for a 2005/06 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie, they have not scored on four subsequent visits.
• That sequence includes scoreless draws at Manchester United FC in the UEFA Champions League group stages of 2005/06 and 2008/09 but also two defeats at Arsenal FC – including a 3-0 loss on their most recent trip to England for a 2008/09 quarter-final.
• Villarreal's overall record against English clubs is: W3 D6 L2.
• As a UC Sampdoria player Roberto Mancini lost the 1988/89 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs' Cup finals against FC Barcelona. It proved third time lucky against Spanish opposition when he helped S.S. Lazio defeat RCD Mallorca to claim the 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
• Mancini faced Spain in the 1988 UEFA European Championship, his Italy side winning 1-0.
• As a coach, Mancini's FC Internazionale Milano were eliminated from the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals by Villarreal. The first leg in Milan finished 2-1 to Inter but a 1-0 defeat at El Madrigal sent the Spanish side through on away goals. Villarreal's Marcos Senna played in both games, Gonzalo Rodríguez appearing in Spain.
• Kolo Touré scored the only goal of Arsenal's 2005/06 UEFA Champions League semi-final victory against Villarreal. Touré later played alongside Gaël Clichy and Samir Nasri as Arsenal eliminated Villarreal in 2008/09.
• Edin Džeko faced Villarreal with VfL Wolfsburg in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 32, scoring in a 4-1 home win to secure a 6-3 aggregate success.
• For Club Atlético de Madrid, Sergio Agüero met Villarreal eight times in five years in the Spanish Liga, winning four and losing four while scoring five goals.
• David Silva faced Villarreal seven times with Valencia and on loan at RC Celta de Vigo, winning four games, drawing one and losing two. He struck in a 4-1 Liga victory against Villarreal on 17 January 2010 and played with Carlos Marchena and César Sánchez at Valencia.
• Two other City players with experience of Spanish football are Yaya Touré (Barcelona 2007-10) and Pablo Zabaleta (RCD Espanyol 2005-08).
• Goalkeeper César spent the first half of 2008/09 at Tottenham Hotspur FC, making just one appearance in a League Cup win against Liverpool FC.
• Giuseppe Rossi was a Manchester United player from 2004 to 2007, during which time he also had a loan spell with Newcastle United FC. Rossi and Mario Balotelli are colleagues in the Italy national team.
• Borja Valero played for West Bromwich Albion FC in the Premier League between 2008 and 2009, losing 4-2 at City in April 2009.
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