The Villarreal squad has been announced for the Europa League tie against Slavia Prague. The eighteen men selected are as follows:-
Goalkeepers: Barbosa and Cantero
Defenders : Mario, Rukavina, Jaume Costa, Alvaro, Víctor Ruiz and Bonera
Midfielders: Trigueros, Rodrigo, Soriano, Samu Castillejo, Fornals, Cheryshev and Ramiro
Forwards: Bacca, Bakambu and Unal
The only noticeable absentee is Nicola Sansone who has been replaced by Enes Unal. Reuben Semedo, Sergio Asenjo, Andres Fernandez and Bruno Soriano have all been ruled out through injury.
Javi Calleja is believed to make “many changes” to the side from the one which faced Girona on Sunday. Talking in the pre-match press conference, Calleja is keen to “secure a way to play”and will continue to play as set out from his first day in the hotseat. He has warned that their opponents are very strong and versatile in attack. He believes the best way to combat this “is to maintain the defensive balance, have the ball and finish plays, being strong in the area.”
Slavia Prague are having a bit of renaissance recently under the ownership of CEFC China Energy Company Limited who are among the top ten richest companies in China. The Czech side, who finished top in the Czech top flight last season have players such as Former Zenit midfielder Danny, Turk Halil Altintop and their Ukrainian captain Ruslan Rotan in their ranks. The league title win was only the third time they had done so, are managed by Jaroslav Silhavy are making their first appearance in Europe this season since 2010.
Norwegian referee Svein Oddvar Moen will be the man in the middle at the Estadio de la Ceramica. The 38 year old last refereed Villarreal when they played Napoli in the Champions League in 2011/12. The game finished two nil to the Italians.
Both teams are currently tied at the top of group A after matchday two with 4 points each. A win for either side will see them go top outright and have a big chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.