Villarreal CF may have failed to score the away goal at SSC Napoli that would have earned them breathing space in Thursday's round of 32 decider, but Joan Capdevila remains confident his side are set to continue their UEFA Europa League run. "You'll see a much more attacking Villarreal," he warned.
The side that drew 0-0 against Napoli last week was a far cry from the swashbuckling Villarreal outfit which qualified for the knockout stage as group winners. Instead, chances at the Stadio San Paolo were few and far between, with Borja Valero's two second-half attempts all the visitors could muster going forward.
In a similar vein, left-back Capdevila kept his forward runs to a minimum, but the Spain international insisted that the Yellow Submarine will not drop anchor in their own half at El Madrigal. "We weren't really happy with the result because 0-0 away from home is not ideal in Europe," Capdevila told UEFA.com.
"If they score in the return, we could get knocked out, so we'd much rather have come away from the first leg with an away goal. The second leg will be very different at El Madrigal, though.
You'll see a much more attacking Villarreal and I think it'll be a very open game, with lots of goalscoring chances."
Capdevila has made six appearances in the UEFA Europa League proper this season and, after winning the FIFA World Cup last summer, is keen to add more silverware to his collection. The 33-year-old clinched the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup during his time at RC Deportivo La Coruña, and also triumphed with Spain at UEFA EURO 2008, but the defender knows that Napoli striker Edinson Cavani poses a huge threat to Villarreal's European progress. "
Cavani is world class, a great striker, and it isn't easy to keep him quiet," he said. "I don't think it'll be long before we see him move to a big European club."
Villarreal goalkeeper Diego López agrees that Cavani will need to be monitored, the Uruguayan international having notched five goals in the UEFA Europa League and 20 in Serie A, but the 29-year-old is also wary of several other players in the opposition ranks. "Napoli have great players up front, great quality and I'm happy that I made a one or two saves [in the first leg] to keep a clean sheet," he explained. "We know it will be a tough return leg, but the door is open for both teams to qualify."
Andrea Dossena certainly shares that outlook, and the former Liverpool FC defender is convinced his Napoli side have an excellent chance of going through. "Villarreal will have to leave themselves a little more exposed compared to in Naples," he said. "We know our strengths, so we will try to use them by scoring, and the fact that away goals count double could work in our favour. It's a great advantage for us that we didn't concede at home."
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.