Villarreal begins their Europa League campaign this evening in El Madrigal against FC Zurich. Like Wigan Athletic a couple of years ago, the Swiss side managed to win their country’s cup competition while being relegated, but they’re already at the top of the Swiss second division so pretty certain to get back to the top flight.
There’s a big difference in budget, for sure; Villarreal spent roughly €50 million on transfers this summer, Zurich €150,000.
These two teams met before in the EL group stage, Villarreal winning 4-1 at El Madrigal on October 23, 2014. From our starting lineup that day, only Victor Ruiz and Bruno remain with Villarreal (Adrian Marin, who started at left back, is still Villarreal property of course).
Zurich have a few more players around who played us that day, and they picked up a defender from Dinamo Minsk, Bangura, who played against us twice last year in the Europa League.
The teams this time: