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Villarreal up against it as City bid to reign in Spain

After getting their first UEFA Champions League victory last time out, Manchester City FC are now seeking a first win on Spanish soil against Group A's bottom side Villarreal CF.

Sergio Agüero celebrates scoring Manchester City's winner on matchday three and now returns to Spain
Sergio Agüero celebrates scoring Manchester City's winner on matchday three and now returns to Spain ©Getty Images

After earning their first UEFA Champions League win against Villarreal CF on matchday three, Manchester City FC will now look for a first success on Spanish soil when the sides reconvene at El Madrigal.

• Sergio Agüero's added-time winner in Manchester left Juan Carlos Garrido's Villarreal still point-less in Group A and knowing another defeat would confirm their elimination. City, by contrast, now lie within a point of second-placed SSC Napoli.

Match background
• Villarreal had never lost three successive European fixtures and must avoid a fourth as they seek three points to keep their faint hopes alive. Although beaten at home by FC Bayern München in September, they have a strong recent European record at El Madrigal having previously recorded nine straight victories: eight out of eight in last season's UEFA Europa League, then a 3-0 defeat of Odense BK in August's UEFA Champions League play-offs.

• City have lost three and drawn two of their last five European away fixtures, and not scored for 283 minutes.

• Villarreal have recorded two wins and four draws at home against English opposition. Their most recent victory was a 2-1 success against Everton FC in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

• Since then they have drawn twice with both Manchester United FC and Arsenal FC. Marcos Senna scored when Arsenal visited for a 1-1 draw in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

• City failed to win in Spain in three previous attempts. They came back from 2-0 and 3-1 behind to hold Athletic Club 3-3 on their first visit, setting up a 6-3 aggregate success in the first round of their triumphant 1969/70 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup campaign. They lost 2-1 at Valencia CF in the 1972/73 UEFA Cup first round.

• They also lost 3-1 at Real Racing Club in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage. Of City's 18-man squad only Micah Richards, Pablo Zabaleta, substitute Vincent Kompany and the unused pair Joe Hart and Nedum Onuoha remain.

Team ties
• As a UC Sampdoria player Roberto Mancini lost the 1988/89 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the 1991/92 European Champion Clubs' Cup finals against FC Barcelona. It proved third time lucky against Spanish opposition when he helped S.S. Lazio defeat RCD Mallorca to claim the 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

• Mancini's Italy beat Spain 1-0 at the 1988 UEFA European Championship.

• As a coach, Mancini's FC Internazionale Milano were eliminated from the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals by Villarreal. The first leg in Milan finished 2-1 to Inter but a 1-0 defeat at El Madrigal sent the Spanish side through on away goals. Villarreal's Marcos Senna played in both games, Gonzalo Rodríguez appearing in Spain.

• César Sánchez spent the first half of 2008/09 at Tottenham Hotspur FC, appearing once in a League Cup win against Liverpool FC.

• Giuseppe Rossi was a Manchester United player from 2004 to 2007, during which time he also had a loan spell with Newcastle United FC. Rossi and Mario Balotelli are colleagues in Italy's national team.

• Borja Valero played for West Bromwich Albion FC in the Premier League between 2008 and 2009, losing 4-2 at City in April 2009.

• Kolo Touré scored the only goal of Arsenal's 2005/06 UEFA Champions League semi-final victory against Villarreal. Touré later played alongside Gaël Clichy and Samir Nasri as Arsenal eliminated Villarreal in 2008/09.

• Edin Džeko faced Villarreal with VfL Wolfsburg in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League round of 32, scoring in a 4-1 home win.

• For Club Atlético de Madrid, Agüero met Villarreal eight times in five years in the Spanish Liga, winning four and losing four while scoring five goals.

• David Silva faced Villarreal seven times with Valencia and on loan at RC Celta de Vigo, winning four games, drawing one and losing two. He struck in a 4-1 Liga victory against Villarreal on 17 January 2010 and played with Carlos Marchena and César at Valencia.

• Two other City players with Liga experience are Yaya Touré (Barcelona 2007-10) and Zabaleta (RCD Espanyol 2005-08).