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Rapid Vienna--Villarreal PREVIEW

A quick look at tomorrow's opponents.

Rapid Wien come into the 2015-16 Europa League after failing to get past Shakhtar Donetsk in the play-off round for the Champions League.

The Vienna side finished as respectable runners-up during the 2014-15 Austrian Bundesliga season, missing out of the title by six points from Red Bull Salzburg.

Rapid Wien’s last appearance in the Europa League was during the 2013-14 season. They lined up in group G but could only finish the group in third place, winning only one match.

Rapid are enjoying a good start to the current season, though they have lost their last match in the Austrian Bundesliga and currently lie second.  They have a predominantly Austrian roster, but feature one Spaniard, Tomi (Tomi Correa) who played with Badalona and Logrones but has been in Austria since 2009.

Coach Zoran Barisic played with Rapid from 2003 to 2005, and has been a coach there since 2009.

Rapid's colors are green and white and it must be exhausting to support them, because according to Wikipedia "Almost since the club's beginnings, Rapid fans have announced the last fifteen minutes of the game by way of the traditional "Rapidviertelstunde" – rhythmic clapping at home or away no matter what the score".

Villarreal will be supported by around 200 fans who have made the trip from Spain, plus some of the Slovakian Penya El Madrigal and assorted others.  As often happens when we play away in the Europa group stage, Villarreal has decided to rest a striker, in this case Player-of-the-Month for August Roberto Soldado.  Remember we started last year's campaign in Germany, and had an attacking pair of Vietto and Cheryshev, with Uche and Gerard on the bench and Gio out.

Kickoff is at 10AM Pacific time.  If you get a chance to watch (I will likely not), please post comments below on the action!