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Slavia Praha v Villarreal background

It was all square when Slavia Praha travelled to Villarreal on matchday three, leaving the pair still locked together on five points at the top of Group A ahead of the return.

Slavia coach Jaroslav Šilhavý oversees the match at Villarreal
Slavia coach Jaroslav Šilhavý oversees the match at Villarreal ©AFP/Getty Images

Slavia Praha and Villarreal meet for the second time in a fortnight, with the two teams heading UEFA Europa League Group A on five points apiece after their 2-2 draw in Spain.

• Should Villarreal score twice in Prague, they will become the first team to register a century of goals in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final.

Previous meetings
• In the first encounter, on 19 October, Slavia raced into a two-goal lead after half an hour with strikes from Tomáš Necid and former Zenit midfielder Danny, only for Villarreal to draw level before half-time with goals from Manu Trigueros and ex-Sevilla man Carlos Bacca.

• Slavia have won only one of their nine games against Spanish opposition – 2-0 against Celta Vigo in a 2003 UEFA Champions League qualifier (though they lost 3-2 on aggregate). Their overall record is W1 D4 L4 (W1 D1 L2 in Czech Republic), with the last three matches all being drawn.

• Villarreal are unbeaten in eight encounters with Czech clubs: W5 D3.

Form guide
• Czech champions Slavia have not conceded in their three European home games this season – a 1-0 win against BATE and 0-0 draw with APOEL in UEFA Champions League qualifying before a 1-0 victory over Maccabi Tel-Aviv on matchday one of the UEFA Europa League. However, they have scored only twice in their last five UEFA matches at Eden Arena (0-0, 0-3, 1-0, 0-0, 1-0).

• Villarreal are unbeaten in five European away matches (W1 D4). Their last four UEFA Europa League group games away from home have all ended with the points shared, including this season's 0-0 draw with Maccabi Tel-Aviv on matchday two.

• Edged out by APOEL in this season's UEFA Champions League play-offs, Slavia made it through the UEFA Cup group stage in 2005/06, but they missed the cut in 2008/09 and also fell short in their only previous UEFA Europa League group campaign of 2009/10.

• Villarreal are featuring in a fourth consecutive UEFA Europa League group stage, having progressed safely in each of the last three.

• The Spanish side hold the UEFA Europa League group stage to final records for most games played (57), most wins (31) and most goals scored (98).

Trivia and links
• The journey from Villarreal to Prague is around 1,600km.

• Slavia coach Jaroslav Šilhavý turns 56 the day after the game.

• Semi-finalists in 2010/11 and 2015/16, Villarreal have never been eliminated in the UEFA Europa League group stage and share with Anderlecht the record of progressing from their group on five occasions.

• Bacca, on loan to Villarreal from AC Milan, won back-to-back UEFA Europa Leagues with Sevilla in 2013/14 and 2014/15, scoring two goals in the latter final against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

• Suspended from next match if booked: Jan Bořil (Slavia); Jaume Costa (Villarreal)

The coaches
• A Czechoslovak league runner-up in 1992/93 as a Slavia midfielder, Jaroslav Šilhavý returned to the club after a 22-year absence in September 2016. Having won the Czech crown as Liberec boss in 2011/12, he triumphed again with Slavia in 2017.

• Javier Calleja took over as Villarreal's new coach after Fran Escribá's dismissal on 25 September. He represented the club as a player from 1999–2006, and returned as a youth coach after hanging up his boots. He was coaching the B team when he was called upon to replace Escribá.