|Attempts on target||55||97|
|Attempts off target||60||50|
Jupp Heynckes said "now it really begins in earnest" as he looked forward to Bayer 04 Leverkusen's UEFA Europa League round of 16 opener against Villarreal CF.
With his side second in the Bundesliga after Saturday's 3-0 home win against VfL Wolfsburg, Heynckes is itching to prove that Leverkusen can cut it against the very best. "From now on we will only be up against teams who are at our level," he said. "We are really looking forward to these challenges at the highest level. We want to show we can hold our nerve against the best teams in Europe."
The former CD Tenerife, Athletic Club and Real Madrid CF coach certainly ranks Villarreal among that elite. "I've studied them since the draw and they are a very good team," he added. "
I'm in the same camp as Pep Guardiola, who said that on their day Villarreal are one of the best teams in Europe."
Without Manuel Friedrich (shoulder), Tranquillo Barnetta (gastroenteritis) and Michael Ballack (unfit), Leverkusen still feel confident, with striker Eren Derdiyok explaining: "They have a lot of high-quality players, but I think we have a good chance as long as we're completely on our game."
"I'm confident that we can get through this round," concurred Heynckes. "We've been playing very good football in recent weeks, with great spirit. That makes me very confident." However, he added a note of caution, highlighting Villarreal's "collective spirit and their consistency". "That's what we have to be careful about," he said.
Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla is looking for a response after he and his team-mates succumbed 3-1 at Club Atlético de Madrid on Saturday. "We're going into the game on the back of a negative run of results and we hope to reverse that as soon as possible," he said of a sequence which has brought two wins in eight matches.
"If we are at our best we can beat anyone," added Cazorla. "
Last weekend's defeat at the Vicente Calderón left a bad taste in our mouths after but we are eager to put that behind us and get a good result in Europe."
Villarreal are without Ángel López (knee), Marcos Senna (hamstring), Cicinho (muscular problems) and the suspended Joan Capdevila. Cani should play what would be his 200th appearance for the Liga outfit.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.