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Rapid Wien v Villarreal background

Rapid Wien last beat a Spanish side in 1968, not a positive omen as Zoran Barisic's side gear up to face Villarreal in their UEFA Europa League Group E opener.

Rapid Wien v Villarreal background
Rapid Wien v Villarreal background ©AFP/Getty Images

SK Rapid Wien will look to end a 47-year wait for a European victory against Spanish opponents as Villarreal CF come calling in UEFA Europa League Group E.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.

• Rapid's record in nine games against Spanish sides is W2 D2 L5 (W2 D0 L2 at home – W0 D2 L3 in Spain). However, they have not won in the most recent five of those encounters (D2 L3) – a run which stretches back to 1968.

• Villarreal's four encounters with Austrian sides were all meetings with FC Salzburg (W2 D0 L2); most recently, they eliminated the Austrian champions in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16.

Form guide
• Rapid are unbeaten in seven UEFA Europa League home games (W4 D3) since a 4-0 loss to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Villarreal scored an impressive 15 goals in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage, five of them away from home. They scored at least once in all 12 of their European games last season: 29 goals in total.

• Rapid failed to make it through to the knockout phase in their four previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League campaigns; Villarreal's five past group stage campaigns in this competition all ended in success.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Villarreal to Vienna is around 1600km.

• Rapid boast Spanish talent in the form of forward Tomi Correa, who started his career at CD Tenerife in his native Canary Islands.

• Rapid's Croatian striker Matej Jelić was the joint top scorer in UEFA Europa League qualifying this season, hitting seven goals for MŠK Žilina before moving to Austria.

The coaches
• A midfielder of Croatian descent, Vienna-born Zoran Barisic played for Rapid from 1993-95 and has been on the coaching staff since 2006. He has been in sole command at the club since 2013, and led them to a runners-up finish in the Bundesliga last season.

• Villarreal coach Marcelino's career as a midfielder was ended early by injury. As a coach, he worked his way up the Spanish leagues, taking over at his current club in 2013 following spells at Real Zaragoza, Real Racing Club Santander and Sevilla FC.

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