Villarreal have to be pleased with the draw this morning in Switzerland for the Europa League quarterfinals. The Submarine avoided Sevilla, avoided Dortmund, and were drawn against an opponent they'll be favored to beat--though Lazio can bear witness to what happens if you don't defend well and take them lightly.
The draw is:
Yet again, two Spanish teams were drawn against each other, while Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool against his former Dortmund club will get a lot of the headlines.
As in the previous knockout rounds, the first leg of our tie will be played at El Madrigal. It will happen April 6, with the return leg in Prague on April 13. Villarreal's Slovakia supporters group, Penya El Madrigal, is excited and has already tweeted they'll be in Prague to support the club (as they were yesterday in Germany, see photo above).
Sparta Prague defeated Thun (Switzerland) in the playoff round; then finished second in a group with Schalke, Asteras Tripoli and APOEL Nicosia. They defeated Krasnodar (Russia) 4-0 in the round of 32, then Lazio in the round of 16, winning in Italy 3-0 after a 1-1 draw in Prague.
Villarreal played a Czech club in our group phase, Viktoria Plzen, winning 1-0 at home and drawing 3-3 away. Plzen had some pacy players and to be honest looked a better side against us than Rapid Vienna did, but they ended up with four losses in their six group matches. Plzen currently lead the Czech league, with Sparta second.