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Villarreal v Salzburg preview

Villarreal CF take on FC Salzburg in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, with Jonatan Soriano looking to make an impression on his return to his native country.

Salzburg's Simon Cziommer challenges Villarreal's Sebastián Eguren in the clubs' last encounter
Salzburg's Simon Cziommer challenges Villarreal's Sebastián Eguren in the clubs' last encounter ©Getty Images

Villarreal CF will look to gain some recompense as they take on FC Salzburg in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 – the Austrian champions had the better of the sides' previous meetings.

What they say
Villarreal coach Marcelino: "Motivation isn't going to be a problem; we hope that our excitement leads to us finding the ideal state of mind to play as we know we can. It's important to enjoy our football. Salzburg are tough opponents, have great offensive potential and players of great individual ability. They will force us to work hard as a defensive collective. They're a great team but we're a strong team too. The main thing is our football, that we face the game with enthusiasm. we're convinced we can come through the tie."

Salzburg coach Adi Hütter: "Villarreal are at home and want to play a good game but our task is to stop them and get a good result. We have a plan for this game; we know it's knockout football now and our goal is to get a good position for the second leg. We want to return home with a good result so that does not mean that we're going to be defending all the time. We want to be proactive and get a lead; Villarreal are tactically very disciplined and play in clearly defined patterns."

Previous meetings
• The sides met in the 2009/10 UEFA Cup group stage, Huub Stevens' Salzburg winning 2-0 at home and 1-0 in Spain.

• The teams for the second encounter in Villarreal on 17 December 2009 were:
Villarreal: Oliva, Gonzalo Rodríguez (Capdevila 46), Eguren, Llorente, Nilmar, Ángel López, Marcano, Bruno Soriano*, Pereira (Rossi 72), Escudero, Kiko (Matilla 61).
Salzburg: Gustafsson, Afolabi, Schwegler*, Augustinussen, Nelisse (Rakić 64), Opdam, Ulmer*, Švento, Cziommer (Vladavić 81), Sekagya, Leitgeb* (Ježek 86).

*eligible to play for the club in this season's competition.

Form guide
Villarreal are four games unbeaten at home in Europe this season, scoring four times in each of their three victories.

Salzburg have won all three of their UEFA Europa League group stage away games this season. They are unbeaten in nine UEFA Europa League away fixtures (W8 D1, including qualifying).

Villarreal have scored 22 goals in eight European games this season (an average of 2.75 per match), with Salzburg having registered 26 (average: 2.6 per game) in ten continental fixtures. Villarreal have been tighter at the back, conceding seven to Salzburg's 14.

Trivia and links
• Alan tops this season's  UEFA Europa League scorers rankings with eight Salzburg goals in five group games, but the Brazilian left the club to move to China in the winter; team-mate Jonatan Soriano was last season's UEFA Europa League top scorer, also with eight goals.

• Jonatan Soriano is Spanish, and played for RCD Espanyol, UD Almería, Club Polideportivo Ejido, Albacete Balompié and FC Barcelona's B-team before heading to Austria in 2012. Villarreal's Jonathan Dos Santos was among his Barcelona B team-mates.

Villarreal's Bruno Soriano and Salzburg's Jonatan Soriano are not related.

Salzburg (Austria) are one of seven reigning domestic champions in the round of 32, along with Legia Warszawa (Poland), Aalborg BK (Denmark), Olympiacos FC (Greece), Celtic FC (Scotland), RSC Anderlecht (Belgium) and AFC Ajax (Netherlands).

The coaches
• 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.

• Adi Hütter took charge of Salzburg following Roger Schmidt's departure for Bayer 04 Leverkusen in summer 2014. A former midfielder with the club, he coached Salzburg's youth teams before moving into senior football with SCR Altach and SV Grödig, whom he led to promotion and then a third-place finish in Austria last season.

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