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Willing Senna to tangle with Red Devils

Midfielder Marcos Senna believes Villarreal CF will take the game to Manchester United FC in Group E despite the European champions' fearsome reputation, saying that his side "don't know how to sit back".

Marcos Senna is determined to give United a game at Old Trafford
Marcos Senna is determined to give United a game at Old Trafford ©Getty Images

After touching the European summit with Spain in June, Marcos Senna has turned his sights to continental success with Villarreal CF in this season's UEFA Champions League.

Bullish mood
One of the stars of Spain's UEFA European Championship triumph, Senna was in bullish mood as he looked ahead to Villarreal's opening Group E match at Manchester United FC on Wednesday, predicting they were capable of achieving "something big". "For me, it is another special moment to have the opportunity to play in this competition," said Senna, who was voted into the UEFA EURO 2008™ team of the tournament. "We want to put in a good performance, as we did in 2006, and I think we have a good squad this year. We are going to do something big. We are playing the holders but anything is possible. We're relaxed but have a lot of hope."

Eyeing surprise
The 32-year-old is one of only three survivors from the Villarreal side that got the better of United at this stage three years ago – the teams' two 0-0 draws helping Manuel Pellegrini's men take top spot in the group, with United finishing bottom. Senna warned that Villarreal, eventual semi-finalists in 2005/06, were now an even better side. "The squad we have today is more complete," he said. "Perhaps we can win or lose tomorrow but we are well-prepared and what we want to do is go forward. We don't know how to sit back and we want to spring a surprise.

'We can win the group'
"Of course we can win the group. We had a great experience in 2006. Each season is something new but we start out with a lot of hope. We know it will not be easy but anything can happen in football," added Senna. The midfielder's previous efforts against United prompted interest from the Premier League champions, yet he is happy to have stayed at El Madrigal, where he signed a contract extension this summer. "There was contact between the club and my agent. The truth is I wanted to stay at Villarreal for many reasons. This year too I had the chance to leave but I've been here a long while and am happy."