Plzeň v Villarreal background

Viktoria Plzeň are on the way out of the UEFA Europa League but can deal Villarreal a blow as they go, with the Spanish side in competition with Rapid Wien to win Group E.

Plzeň's Michal Ďuriš in possession against Villarreal in October
Plzeň's Michal Ďuriš in possession against Villarreal in October ©AFP/Getty Images

Villarreal CF visit FC Viktoria Plzeň in the UEFA Europa League knowing they cannot be denied top spot in Group E if they win.

• Villareal lead fellow qualifiers SK Rapid Wien on head-to-head record and will only relinquish first place if they collect fewer points than the Austrian side on matchday six.

Previous meetings
Villarreal triumphed 1-0 when the teams met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday two.

• Villarreal are unbeaten in four matches against Czech teams: W3 D1.

• Plzeň's record in five fixtures against Spanish clubs is W1 D0 L4 (W1 D0 L1 at home).

Form guide
• Plzeň will miss out this time, but they successfully navigated their way through their only previous UEFA Europa League group stage in 2012/13.

• Villarreal managed 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 in 2014/15, 29 goals in total.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Villarreal to Plzen is around 1,500km.

• Plzeň's Matús Kozáčík was in goal as Slovakia beat Spain 2-1 in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying, but he and Plzeň team-mate Patrik Hrošovský also featured in the side that lost 2-0 in the return fixture in September.

• Plzeň are one of ten clubs in this season's group stage that qualified for Europe as domestic champions, along with KF Skenderbëu (Albania), Qarabağ FK (Azerbaijan), APOEL FC (Cyprus), FC Midtjylland (Denmark), KKS Lech Poznań (Poland), FK Partizan (Serbia), Celtic FC (Scotland), Molde FK (Norway) and FC Basel 1893 (Switzerland).

The coaches
• 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 Villarreal in 2013 following spells at Real Zaragoza, Real Racing Club and Sevilla FC.

• Karel Krejčí was appointed by Plzeň this summer, replacing Miroslav Koubek. He was Pavel Vrba's assistant when Plzeň won two league titles and he continues to work as Vrba's No2 with the Czech national team.