Villarreal - Twente: By the Numbers

MARCH 10, 2011: Villarreal's Nilmar scores the game-winning goal against Bayer 04 Leverkusen during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, first leg at BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany.

With Bayer 04 Leverkusen and SSC Napoli left in our wake, we now turn our attention to current Dutch Eredivisie leaders and defending champions FC Twente.

Twente dropped down into the Europa League after finishing behind Tottenham and Inter Milan in Group A of the Champions League (the only group stage foursome with two teams left in the competition). Be forewarned; this team is very dangerous in attack. And don't forget about American international defender Oguchi Onyewu.

Team overviews:

FC Twente:

  • 29 matches played (out of 34); 56 goals scored, 28 conceded, +28 GD.
  • 63 points, 1st place in Eredivisie; 2 points ahead of 2nd-place PSV Eindhoven (who Twente defeated 2-0 on Saturday).

Villarreal CF:

  • 30 matches played (out of 38); 48 goals scored, 31 conceded, +17 GD.
  • 54 points, 4th place in La Liga; 3 points behind 3rd-place Valencia CF.

Individual statistics (in league play):

FC Twente:

  • F Marc Janko (Austria): 14 goals; our old nemesis from Red Bull Salzburg returns.
  • MF Theo Janssen (Netherlands): 10 goals; having a career year vis a vis goalscoring.
  • F Luuk de Jong (Netherlands): 10 goals; up-and-coming youngster, part of front line Twin Towers.
  • F Brian Ruiz (Costa Rica): 8 goals; scored 24 last season, leads by example internationally.
  • MF Nacer Chadli (Belgium): 7 goals; another young revelation, eschewed Morocco internationally.

Villarreal CF:

  • F Giuseppe Rossi (Italy): 15 goals, 5 assists; 28 starts, no substitute appearances.
  • F Nilmar (Brazil): 11 goals, 3 assists; 21 starts, 3 substitute appearances.
  • MF Santi Cazorla (Spain): 5 goals, 8 assists; 27 starts, 2 substitute appearances.
  • MF Borja Valero (Spain): 3 goals, 8 assists; 27 starts, 1 substitute appearance.
  • GK Diego Lopez (Spain): 92 saves, .748(!!) save percentage; his great season keeps getting better.

Scoring statistics (in league play):

FC Twente:

  • 11-3-1 at home (1st in Eredivisie); 8-3-3 away (1st). Not surprising.
  • Has outscored opponents 33-12 at home.
  • Lost 2 consecutive matches before Thanksgiving; has dropped 2 since. Impressive run.
  • 3 perfect months: October (5 wins), January (3), March (3).
  • 10-1 in matches decided by 2+ goals; lost 6-2 away to Heerenveen.

Villarreal CF:

  • 11-3-2 at home (3rd in La Liga); 5-3-6 away (4th). Also predictable.
  • Has outscored opponents 29-10 at home.
  • Lost 2 matches pre-Thanksgiving; has dropped 6 since. That's why we're now a staggering 27 points behind Barcelona.
  • 2 undefeated months: September (4 wins), October (2 wins, 2 draws).
  • 8-3 in matches decided by 2+ goals; away defeats to Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid.
It's not a glamour date with Liverpool FC, but you will hear You'll Never Walk Alone before the return leg in Enschede. Twente is a better side than Napoli and Leverkusen, so I expect a dogfight over two legs. Our European experience is the primary factor that I expect will take us through. Endavant Villarreal!
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