Villarreal v Sevilla preview
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Villarreal CF and Sevilla FC know each other well from Spanish football but will take their relationship on to a new level as they meet in the UEFA Europa League.
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Spain's two remaining UEFA Europa League contenders meet in the round of 16, with Villarreal CF striving to put an end to holders Sevilla FC's quest for a fourth success in this competition.
What they say
Marcelino, Villarreal coach: "For some clubs – Sevilla for example – it is normal to think about reaching the final. We don't think in those terms, but we know that we can do it and we will do everything possible to get there. The Spanish, Italian and English sides are more motivated because the winner of the Europa League go into the Champions League – that's a huge incentive."
Sevilla coach Unai Emery: "Both teams will play to their strengths and one team will be unfairly out of the Europa League. Sevilla don't have an advantage because we're the holders; we have to reproduce the football we played last year to win the cup. Nobody is going to give anything away. Both teams want to do something beautiful and it's going to be tight. We want to win and to do that we have to play well, we have to approach excellence. Few teams have won at El Madrigal and we want to be one of them."
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition, but have come together in 33 competitive games in Spain: 17 Sevilla wins, eight Villarreal wins and eight draws.
• Villarreal have met Spanish opponents in six previous UEFA games with the record W1 D2 L3. In terms of two-legged ties, their record against their fellow countrymen is W1 L2.
• Sevilla's record against Spanish sides in Europe is W4 D3 L6. They have won their last four UEFA ties against Liga opponents: CA Osasuna (2006/07 UEFA Cup semi-finals), RCD Espanyol (2006/07 UEFA Cup final), Real Betis Balompié (2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 16) and Valencia CF (2013/14 UEFA Europa League semi-finals).
• Villarreal are unbeaten in four European games, and have not lost at home in five games this season (W4 D1) scoring 16 times in the process.
• Sevilla's 3-2 win at VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in the round of 32 ended a seven-game wait for a continental win over 90 minutes away from their Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán home (D3 L4) since their 2-0 success at Betis in last season's round of 16. That run did, however, include their UEFA Europa League final shoot-out success against SL Benfica in Turin.
• Villarreal are through to the round of 16 for the first time since 2010/11 when they made it as far as the semi-finals, going out to eventual winners FC Porto.
Trivia and links
• Villarreal's Denis Cheryshev spent last season on loan at Sevilla but only managed to make five appearances in all competitions, his spell at the club blighted by a series of injuries.
• Sevilla reserve goalkeeper Mariano Barbosa was at Villarreal from 2005–07, making 25 appearances, including both legs of the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League semi-final against Arsenal FC.
• Villarreal winger Joel Campbell spent 2012/13 on loan with Sevilla's city rivals Betis.
• Sevilla forward Gerard Deulofeu – who turns 21 the day after the first leg – and Villarreal midfielder Jonathan dos Santos played together for FC Barcelona B from 2010–12.
• Villarreal are the highest scorers among the sides left in the competition with 20 goals in their eight games since the start of the group stage.
• Sevilla (2006, 2007, 2014) are one of five former UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 16 along with SSC Napoli (1989), FC Internazionale Milano (1991, 1994, 1998), AFC Ajax (1992) and FC Zenit (2008).
• Sevilla's Grzegorz Krychowiak is one of six Polish nationals left in the competition who still have the chance of a dramatic homecoming when the UEFA Europa League final takes place in Warsaw on 27 May.
• 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 coached RC Recreativo de Huelva, Real Racing Club, Real Zaragoza and Sevilla.
• Marcelino took charge of Sevilla for the 2011/12 season, but was relieved of his duties in February 2012 after a 2-1 defeat against Villarreal.
• Sevilla boss since January 2013, one-time midfielder Unai Emery switched from playing to coaching at Lorca Deportiva CF. Having led UD Almería to the top tier, he coached Valencia CF from 2008 to 2012, with his side regular European contenders during that spell. More recently, he had a short reign at FC Spartak Moskva.
• Sevilla's success last season means Emery is one of three coaches in the last 32 who have won the UEFA Europa League since the competition took on its current incarnation, along with Zenit's André Villas-Boas (FC Porto 2011) and Napoli's Rafael Benítez (Chelsea FC 2013).