Villarreal are bidding to make it to the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time since 2011/12 as they come up against Monaco, featuring an in-form Radamel Falcao.
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Villarreal will not be relishing another meeting with Radamel Falcao as the Spanish side battle Monaco for a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• The clubs have yet to meet in a competitive game.
• Villarreal's record in four encounters with French sides is W2 D2 L0 (W1 D1 L0 at home and away). They lost 2-1 at Troyes in a 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup semi-final decider, but were awarded a 3-0 win – and a final place – as their opponents were sanctioned for fielding an ineligible player.
• Monaco's 18 matches against Spanish teams have ended W6 D4 L8 (W5 D3 L1 at home – W1 D1 L7 in Spain).
• This is Villarreal's first European fixture of the season and their first UEFA Champions League campaign since they bowed out at the end of the 2011/12 group stage.
• The Yellow Submarine defeated Odense 3-1 on aggregate in their only previous UEFA Champions League play-off, in 2011/12.
• Monaco eliminated Fenerbahçe to make it to the play-offs, Valère Germain's second in a 3-1 second-leg victory proving decisive in a 4-3 aggregate success.
Team and coach links
• Monaco's Marcel Tisserand and Villarreal's Cédric Bakambu are international team-mates with DR Congo.
• Sporting director Antonio Cordón left Villarreal for Monaco this summer.
• Villarreal's Alfred N'Diaye (Nancy 2008–11) and Bakambu (Sochaux 2010–14) have played in France.
• Falcao (Atlético Madrid 2011–13), Ivan Cavaleiro (Deportivo La Coruña 2014/15) and Morgan De Sanctis (Sevilla 2007/08) have Spanish Liga experience.
• Falcao scored five goals against Villarreal, including four in the first leg, as Porto beat the Yellow Submarine 7-4 on aggregate in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League semi-finals. João Moutinho was then – as now – one of his team-mates, while Mateo Musacchio, Bruno Soriano and Mario Gaspar featured for Villarreal.
• A youth team player who never made the grade with Valencia, Fran Escribá began his coaching career in the club's youth setup in 2002. After serving as understudy to Quique Sánchez Flores at Valencia, Getafe, Benfica and Atlético Madrid, his first managerial post was with Elche in the second tier. He led the Valencian outfit into the Liga in his first season in charge before joining Getafe last summer.
• Marcelino left Villarreal by mutual consent on 10 August having been coach since January 2013. Escribá was named as his successor the following day.
• Appointed in June 2014, Leonardo Jardim has guided Monaco to successive third-place finishes in his two seasons in France. The Venezuelan-born Portuguese coach led Beira-Mar into Portugal's top division in 2009/10 and impressed with Braga, Olympiacos and Sporting CP before being hired by his current employers.