As far as Joan Capdevila is concerned it is no shock FC Salzburg are capable of coming to Spain and not only winning, but outplaying Villarreal CF as they did on Matchday 6.
The UEFA EURO 2012™ winner knows Huub Stevens's side has earned its unofficial status as Europe's in-form team given that no other side in either the group stage of the inaugural UEFA Europa League or the UEFA Champions League has scored maximum points from their six matches. Capdevila fully expected the kind of high-tempo, one-touch football with which Salzburg imposed themselves in Thursday's 1-0 win at El Madrigal, and believes the fact an experimental Villarreal lineup made themselves competitive against a top-quality side is sufficient ahead of today's last-32 draw.
"Salzburg are a very good team, who know precisely how to play their brand of football," said the Spain international. "They're quick, play lots of one-touch stuff and are really smart on the counterattack. They're hard to play against and their record speaks for itself. But I thought our attitude was good enough, we created chances and no way is this result a disaster."
Added to October's 2-0 defeat in Salzburg, Capdevila will be pleased to wave goodbye to the Austrian side for the moment. Teams from the same group will be kept apart in the round of 32, though he has no preference over who Villarreal are paired with. "Bring on any team and we'll be happy," he grinned. "I don't know if we can be considered one of Europe's great sides but even the fact our recent record has potentially put us in that bracket is important for this club. Whoever we draw, having left a big name like Lazio behind in the group, we will just try to enjoy it all."
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