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Zürich v Villarreal background

FC Zürich have picked up just one point from their opening three UEFA Europa League Group A games, with visitors Villarreal CF within sight of the round of 32.

Urs Meier watches Zürich lose at Villarreal
Urs Meier watches Zürich lose at Villarreal ©AFP/Getty Images

With just a point to their name in UEFA Europa League Group A, FC Zürich could do with gaining revenge on Villarreal CF as the sides reconvene on matchday four.

Form guide
• Their 4-1 loss at Villarreal on matchday three was Zürich's fifth defeat in as many games against Spanish opponents – though they did manage to score their first goal in Spain.

Villarreal, meanwhile, recorded their ninth successive UEFA Europa League home win (group stage to final); should they win their remaining group fixture at El Madrigal, they will match the all-time competition record of ten, held jointly by Club Atlético de Madrid and SL Benfica.

Zürich are without a win in three European home games (D2 L1) since a 2-0 success against FC Vaslui in their final 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage outing.

Villarreal are unbeaten in five European matches this season (W4 D1), scoring 16 goals and conceding just two.

Trivia and links
Villarreal and FC Steaua Bucureşti are the top scorers in this season's group stage with nine strikes apiece.

• Left-back Alain Nef is the only Zürich player with Spanish Liga experience; he played eight games for relegation-bound RC Recreativo de Huelva while on loan from Udinese Calcio in 2008/09.

The coaches
• Not to be confused with the famous Swiss referee with whom he shares a name, Zürich coach Urs Meier was a defender for the likes of FC Schaffhausen, AC Bellinzona and Grasshopper Club before moving into coaching. Briefly in charge of the Liechtenstein national team, he took control of his hometown club in 2012, having thrived at the helm of their youth side.

• An attacking midfielder in the Spanish top flight with Real Sporting de Gijón, Villarreal coach Marcelino started coaching early after retiring due to injury aged 28. In charge at El Madrigal since 2013, he has also overseen RC Recreativo de Huelva, Real Racing Club, Real Zaragoza and Sevilla FC.

• Marcelino missed his side's 4-0 success against Apollon on matchday two following the death of his father, with his assistant Rubén Uría taking command in his absence.

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