Last updated 17/07/2019 06:49CET
UEFA Europa League: Villarreal CF - FC Spartak Moskva Match press kits

UEFA Europa League - 2018/19 SeasonMatch press kits

Villarreal CFVillarreal CFEstadio de la Cerámica - VillarrealThursday 13 December 2018
18.55CET (18.55 local time)
Group G - Matchday 6
FC Spartak MoskvaFC Spartak Moskva
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Match background Only this chapter

In a hotly contested UEFA Europa League Group G, all four teams still harbour hopes of progress to the knockout phase. Villarreal, seeking a record seventh qualification, go into their matchday six encounter with Spartak Moskva leading the section, but the Russian side will be through in their hosts' place should they win.

• Villarreal are unbeaten after five matches, but draws have been the name of the game for the Liga club, four of them supplemented by a 5-0 win over Rapid Wien in their last home fixture, on matchday three. They will reach the round of 32 if they avoid defeat against Spartak, and will top the group with a win, or a draw if Rapid also draw at home to Rangers. If Villarreal lose, they are out.

• Spartak suffered a shock 1-2 defeat at home to Rapid last time out, which dropped them from second spot to fourth. Like Villarreal, they have won only one of their five matches – 4-3 at home to Rangers – but need a second victory to qualify, which is only possible as runners-up. Any other result spells elimination.

Highlights: Spartak Moskva 3-3 Villarreal

Previous meetings
• The teams were involved in a six-goal thriller on matchday two, Villarreal twice taking the lead in Moscow but ultimately salvaging a point only with an equalising penalty from Santi Cazorla deep into added time.

• The sides' sole encounters before this season had come in the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round, Villarreal winning the tie 3-2 (1-0 home, 2-2 away).

• Villarreal have a perfect record at home against Russian opposition, winning all three of their previous encounters, most recently 1-0 versus Zenit in the third round of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup – though they would lose that tie on away goals to the eventual winners.

• Spartak have amassed 31 matches against Spanish clubs in UEFA competition, but they have never drawn a game in Spain, winning five and losing ten. A 2-1 win at Athletic Club in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32 – their only visit in this competition – was insufficient to win the tie after a 1-3 first-leg defeat in Moscow, but it did end a run of four successive defeats on Spanish soil.

Form guide
• Villarreal finished fifth in the 2017/18 Spanish Liga to qualify for Europe for the fifth successive season, all of them featuring UEFA Europa League group stage participation – and in every previous case progress into the competition's knockout phase.

Watch Villarreal draw on matchday four

• In total they have made seven UEFA Europa League group stage appearances and have yet to finish outside the top two. Their best seasons in the competition were 2010/11 and 2015/16, in which they reached the semi-finals.

• Villarreal's record at home in 20 UEFA Europa League group stage matches is W14 D3 L3, two of those defeats having come in the last two seasons – against Osmanlıspor (1-2) in 2016/17 and Maccabi Tel-Aviv (0-1) in 2017/18. Indeed, they have lost five of their last 11 home fixtures in Europe, winning just four.

• Spartak were unable to defend their Russian Premier League title in 2017/18, finishing third behind Moscow rivals Lokomotiv and CSKA. Their only European qualifying tie this season ended in defeat – 2-3 on aggregate against PAOK in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, a result that propelled them into the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• The Muscovites have played UEFA Europa League football in five previous seasons but never in the group stage until this term. They reached the quarter-finals in 2010/11 and the round of 32 in 2017/18, when, having crossed over from the UEFA Champions League in mid-campaign, they lost to Athletic. In the other three seasons they fell at the first hurdle in the qualifying phase.

• That 2-1 win in Bilbao is their only victory in the last 15 European away fixtures (D6 L8). Among the defeats was a 7-0 reverse at Liverpool on matchday six of last season's UEFA Champions League – Spartak's heaviest ever defeat in UEFA competition.

See Spartak suffer shock matchday five loss

Links and trivia
• Villarreal's Carlos Bacca and Spartak's Luiz Adriano were strike partners at AC Milan between 2015 and 2016. Italian defenders Daniele Bonera (Villarreal) and Salvatore Bocchetti (Spartak) played for the same club in 2014/15.

• Spartak trio Ilya Kutepov, Roman Zobnin and Aleksandr Samedov all started Russia's round of 16 victory over Spain at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

• Villarreal hold the record not only for the most games played in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final (67), but also the most goals scored (114). Salzburg, however, overtook them on matchday four in the category for most wins, and now lead them 36 to 34.

The coaches
• Villarreal appointed Luis García Plaza as head coach on Monday, having earlier in the day dismissed Javier Calleja. The 46-year-old from Madrid had a low-key playing career as a defender in Spain's lower leagues but first demonstrated his coaching potential with a successful season in charge of Villarreal's B team in 2005/06, since when he has gone on to operate as a Liga head coach with both Levante and Getafe as well as working in the United Arab Emirates and, latterly, China with second-tier outfit Beijing Renhe.

• Following the dismissal of Massimo Carrera on 22 October, and a spell under his assistant Raúl Riancho, Spartak announced on 12 November the appointment of 52-year-old Oleg Kononov as their new head coach. He arrived from Arsenal Tula, where he had only been operating since the start of the season following a similarly short spell at Akhmat Grozny. A former midfielder, he spent the bulk of his playing career in Belarus. His first senior coaching job was in Ukraine with Karpaty Lviv but it was during a progressive spell at FC Krasnodar, from 2013–16, that he established his reputation in Russia.




Club competitions
  • UCL: UEFA Champions League
  • ECCC: European Champion Clubs' Cup
  • UEL: UEFA Europa League
  • UCUP: UEFA Cup
  • UCWC: UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
  • SCUP: UEFA Super Cup
  • UIC: UEFA Intertoto Cup
  • ICF: Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
National team competitions
  • EURO: UEFA European Football Championship
  • WC: FIFA World Cup
  • CONFCUP: FIFA Confederations Cup
  • FRIE: Friendly internationals
  • U21FRIE: Under-21 friendly internationals
  • U21: UEFA European Under-21 Championship
  • U17: UEFA Under-17 Championship
  • U16: UEFA European Under-16 Championship
  • U19: UEFA Under-19 Championship
  • U18: UEFA European Under-18 Championship
  • WWC: FIFA Women's World Cup
  • WEURO: UEFA European Women's Championship

Competition stages

  • F: Final
  • GS: Group stage
  • GS1: First group stage
  • GS2: Second group stage
  • 3QR: Third qualifying round
  • R1: First round
  • R2: Second round
  • R3: Third round
  • R4: Fourth round
  • PR: Preliminary round
  • SF: Semi-finals
  • QF: Quarter-finals
  • R16: round of 16
  • QR: Qualifying round
  • R32: Round of 32
  • 1QR: First qualifying round
  • 1st: first leg
  • 2QR: Second qualifying round
  • 2nd: second leg
  • FT: Final tournament
  • PO: Play-off
  • ELITE: Elite round
  • Rep: Replay
  • 3rdPO: Third-place play-off
  • PO - FT: Play-off for Final Tournament
  • GS-FT: Group stage – final tournament

Other abbreviations

  • (aet): After extra time
  • pens: Penalties
  • No.: Number
  • og: Own goal
  • ag: Match decided on away goals
  • P: Penalty
  • agg: Aggregate
  • Pld: Matches played
  • AP: Appearances
  • Pos.: Position
  • Comp.: Competition
  • Pts: Points
  • D: Drawn
  • R: Sent off (straight red card)
  • DoB: Date of birth
  • Res.: Result
  • ET: Extra Time
  • sg: Match decided by silver goal
  • GA: Goals against
  • t: Match decided by toss of a coin
  • GF: Goals for
  • W: Won
  • gg: Match decided by golden goal
  • Y: Booked
  • L: Lost
  • Y/R: Sent off (two yellow cards)
  • Nat.: Nationality
  • N/A: Not applicable
  • f: Match forfeited


  • -: Denotes player substituted
  • +: Denotes player introduced
  • *: Denotes player sent off
  • +/-: Denotes player introduced and substituted

Squad list

  • D: Disciplinary
  • *: Misses next match if booked
  • S: Suspended
  • QUAL: All UEFA qualifiers
  • UEL: Current season total UEFA Europa League appearances from the group stage onwards prior to the current matchday
  • UEL: Total appearances in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final only
  • UEFA: All-time total appearances in UEFA club competition including qualifying
  • Disclaimer: Although UEFA has taken all reasonable care that the information contained within this document is accurate at the time of publication, no representation or guarantee (including liability towards third parties), expressed or implied, is made as to its accuracy, reliability or completeness. Therefore, UEFA assumes no liability for the use or interpretation of information contained herein. More information can be found in the competition regulations available on