Having drawn their first two Group G games, Villarreal are seeking a first win at home to Rapid Wien, who have three points.
Article top media content
With draws in their opening two matches of UEFA Europa League Group G, competition specialists Villarreal will be seeking a first win at home to a Rapid Wien side who currently sit second in the section with three points.
• The clubs have been paired just once before, in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage, and honours ended even as each won at home. Rapid were 2-1 victors, Stefan Schwab on target, and Villarreal won 1-0 with Bruno Soriano scoring the winner.
• Villarreal have won three and lost three overall against Austrian opposition, with two wins and one defeat at home. Rapid have yet to win in eight visits to Spain, their three most recent trips having all brought defeats without scoring, notably 6-0 at nearby Valencia in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 32 – their heaviest European loss.
• Villarreal finished fifth in the 2017/18 Spanish Liga to qualify for Europe for the fifth successive season, all of them featuring UEFA Europa League group stage participation – and in every previous case progress into the competition's knockout phase.
• The Spanish club hold the record not only for the most games played in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final (64), but also the most wins (33) and the most goals scored (109).
• Villarreal's record at home in 19 UEFA Europa League group stage matches is W13 D3 L3, two of those defeats having come in the last two seasons – against Osmanlıspor (1-2) in 2016/17 and Maccabi Tel-Aviv (0-1) in 2017/18. Indeed, they have lost five of their last ten home fixtures in Europe, winning just three.
• Third place in the 2017/18 Austrian Bundesliga earned Rapid a place in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, where they overcame Slovan Bratislava 5-2 on aggregate (1-2 away, 4-0 home) before eliminating FCSB in the play-offs (3-1 home, 1-2 away).
• Although there was no European campaign for Rapid last season, they are very familiar with the UEFA Europa League group stage; this is their seventh appearance – only fellow Austrians Salzburg have been involved in more. On just one occasion, however, have the Vienna outfit reached the round of 32 – in 2015/16, when they were eliminated after a record 10-0 aggregate defeat by Valencia.
• Rapid have won only one of their last ten European away fixtures, losing seven including all three this term. Their away record in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W3 D3 L13 – a mirror image of Villarreal's at home.
Links and trivia
• Rapid coach Dietmar Kühbauer played for Real Sociedad between 1997 and 2000. In that time he played once against Villarreal – a 1-1 draw in October 1998. He also played twice against Spain for Austria.
• Villarreal's Carlos Bacca has scored 15 goals in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, which places him joint sixth in the competition's all-time listing, albeit with half as many goals as top scorer – and fellow Colombian international – Radamel Falcao.
• Javier Calleja took over as Villarreal's new coach on 25 September 2017 following Fran Escribá's dismissal. He represented the club as a player from 1999 to 2006, having started out at academy level with Real Madrid, and returned as a youth coach in 2012/13 after hanging up his boots. He was coaching the B team, a position he had held for only a few weeks, when he was promoted to the top job. Villarreal finished fifth in the Liga in his first season in charge.
• Dietmar Kühbauer was named as the new head coach of Rapid on 1 October, replacing Goran Djuricin, who was dismissed two days earlier after a 0-2 home defeat to a St Pölten side led by Kühbauer. A Rapid legend as a player, midfielder 'Didi' won the Austrian Bundesliga title in 1995/96, the same season in which he helped the club reach the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final. Capped 55 times by Austria between 1992 and 2005, his coaching career came to a halt in November 2015 after spells with Admira and Wolfsberg, before resuming in April 2018 at St Pölten.